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Specifiers Journal 2016

Specifiers Journal 2016

correct type of seal can

correct type of seal can be used with each penetrating service apertures. In most cases this should result in segregation of the penetrating services into different openings so that the correct type of seal and support can be provided. If a mixed penetration seal has already been constructed which requires fire stopping, guidance will need to be obtained from the manufacturer of the seals to ensure that they can be used for all penetrating services. An alternative to using fire dampers is to use fire resisting ducts (Rockwool) provided by the installation of fire dampers or fire resisting ducts. Fire dampers are fitted where non-fire resisting ductwork passes through fire compartment walls or floors. In normal circumstances, these are held open by fusible links, but when subjected to heat, these links soften and allow the damper to close using a spring loaded mechanism; although increasingly, more are motor driven as part of a fire and smoke control strategy. Dampers must be independently supported so that when activated they do not affect the stability of the surrounding fire-stop unless the stop is designed to support them and has been tested in the fire damper test EN 1366-2. Mixed penetrations There is a tendency for building designers and others to put all the M & E and other services together in one opening, either out of convenience or due to a lack of consideration in the design. However, the type of penetration seals used for each service differs and the reality is that such a ‘mixed penetration’ seal will fail prematurely. Consequently, the ASFP recommends that fire resisting compartment walls/floor which are to be penetrated by services should be designed at an early stage in the project so that the Ensuring competency The Association of Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP) recommends that firestopping work should only be carried out by ‘competent persons’ i.e. those working for a third party certificated contractor or those who have had their competency checked by a scheme run by a third party certification body. When appointing a contractor it is important to ensure that they can prove competency for installing the type of fire protection product to be used. All ASFP contractor members are third party certificated. Always look for the ASFP logo. An alternative to using fire dampers is to use fire resisting ducts. These have been tested against fire both from inside and outside the duct thus ensuring that they can pass from compartment to compartment. As with fire dampers, they must be adequately supported and the surrounding fire-stop should have been tested in the fire resisting duct test EN 1366-1. Fire-resisting bags or pillows can be used where there is a need to frequently change the service penetrating the wall (Rockwool) 56 SPECIFIERS JOURNAL

The ASFP also recommends that a complete record is made of all installations within a building, with labels applied as part of the certification process. This assists with traceability for future remedial work. Similarly photographs of the completed installation can also assist with verification of the work. A certificate of completion must also be provided as part of the inspection process. Available guidance To assist specifiers, building owners and installers in installing the most appropriate product in the correct way, the Association of Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP) offers a range of guidance documents. Its new On-Site Guide to Installing Fire Stopping offers general advice on site conditions and typical preinstallation checks, as well as offering detailed advice on best practice for the installation of products in particular types of application. With the aid of detailed colour illustrations it highlights applications and details factors that should be considered for walls and ceilings; pipes; cables; fire doors; air conditioning and ventilation systems; as well as service supports. Other available guidance includes the ASFP ‘Red Book’, Fire stopping: Linear joint seals, penetration seals & small cavity barriers. Now in its 4th Edition, the newly revised Red Book provides detailed technical information on the design, testing, certification and regulations pertaining to fire stopping systems. It includes a comprehensive guide to third party certificated products which are manufactured and/ or marketed by members of the ASFP. The ASFP also offers Technical Guidance Note (TGD) 17: Code of practice for the installation and inspection of fire-stopping and a range of Advisory Notes which offer advice on particular aspects of fire-stopping in addition to those referred to above. These include advice on the Use Of Polyurethane Foams; Horizontal Loadbearing Fire-stopping and Combustible 40 mm Pipes. The ASFP also offers a video which provides guidance on The correct specification and installation of fire-stopping. It describes the vital role of compartmentation in limiting the spread of fire and smoke within buildings and explains why any breaches in compartment walls and floors for service openings must be appropriately sealed, or ‘fire-stopped’, to ensure their continued performance. The video warns that inappropriate selection and or badly installed fire-stopping systems can significantly increase the risk to life safety and damage to the fabric of the building, and highlights the importance of ensuring that the product to be used has been tested or certificated for the specific use intended. It highlights the inappropriate use of so called fire-rated polyurethane (PU) foams as an issue of significant concern. Featuring footage of a fire test carried out on behalf of the ASFP, the video clearly demonstrates how correctly installed firestopping can effectively hold back smoke and fire; while incorrectly chosen and installed fire-stopping will fail, allowing smoke and flames to quickly spread. The fire test features a range of fire-stopping systems installed in a compartment wall designed to survive a one hour fire test. Alarmingly, it shows that in less than 10 minutes, all of the fire-stopping examples where foam was inappropriately used in a situation for which it was not designed and tested have completely failed. Meanwhile, the correctly installed systems perform as designed, with no flames or smoke escaping. These systems have been successfully tested for one hour. For further information on passive fire protection, or to download a free copy of the new On-site Guide to Installing Fire Stopping or other guidance documents, visit www.asfp.org.uk SPECIFIERS JOURNAL 57

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