what is passive fire protection?

What is Passive Fire Protection? This is a helpful overview of Passive Fire Protection and what is involved in a highly complex subject.

What is Passive Fire Protection?

The primary function of Passive Fire Protection (PFP) acting in concert with active systems such as sprinklers, fire suppression systems, extinguishers, alarms etc is to stop the spread of fire and smoke for a period of time to allow the safe evacuation of building occupants, before firefighters arrive to deal with a fire.

All buildings require PFP and it is mandatory.

Building Codes in each country set out the minimum requirements determined by building use and occupancy, however, the building’s insurer will often require more than the minimum, not only to protect lives but also the building fabric.

Protection of the structure is provided to columns, walls and floors using fire rated board cladding or spray applied materials.

Safe escape routes are formed by providing fire rated walls and floors and any breaches of these require a solution. All products for use in PFP require to be tested by an independent accredited test house and certificated to confirm they meet a particular fire performance. Tests are carried out conform to British (BS), European (EN) and International (ISO) standards.

Firestopping products seal for fire and smoke and must satisfy the two criteria of integrity and insulation. Integrity is the ability to prevent the spread of flame from the fire to the non fire side and Insulation is the ability to prevent the heat passing from the fire side. Insulation will prevent spontaneous combustion on the non fire side.

The sum of all parts does not always equal the whole and it is important to know that disparate products whilst they have been individually tested to meet a certain fire performance, when acting together may not achieve the overall result. A fire consultant will always be able to give advice on this.

Michael Anderson, Managing Director of Gerco-Fas, a leading industry provider of Passive Fire Protection in the UK and Western Europe, states “Passive Fire Protection is a combination of material selection, compatibility of building materials, layout and design.”

Maintenance is vital and all systems require the building manager be notified of any defect or when carrying out additional service installations that breach fire compartment walls or floors.

Always select an accredited contractor to carry out installations and repairs.

Gerco-Fas is a specialist company in Passive Fire Protection, Firestopping and Air Integrity Sealing throughout the UK and Western Europe.

Take the time to view the Gerco-Fas video covering their latest projects in the UK and Western Europe.

View the Gerco-Fas blog. Checklist For Selecting a Passive Fire Protection Sub-contractor For Any Commercial Project.

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From inception in the 1980’s Gerco has progressively developed into one of the most reliable and well-respected subcontractors operating throughout the UK and Europe.

We’re here to help, investing in research and projects to collectively exceed expectations.

We cover all main sectors such as data centres, health sector, residential tower blocks, retail, sports stadiums, student accommodation and all other commercial or public sector projects.

If you would like to discuss a new project, talk about a current one or find out more about our work, please contact Michael Anderson, Managing Director on 0845 862 7200 or email enquiries@gercofas.co.uk

Blog author
Michael Anderson




Managing Director of Gerco-Fas Ltd,
Head office based in Rotherham, England.
Scotland office based in Dunfermline, Fife.

Managing Director of Gerco-Fas GmbH
Geneva, Switzerland.

Managing Director of Gerco-Fas ApS
Copenhagen, Denmark

Michael Anderson, MD, Gerco-Fas Ltd © 2018