What is fire compartmentation?
Compartmentation in structures is the fundamental basis and aim of passive fire protection.
The idea is to divide a structure into "fire compartments", which may contain single or multiple rooms, for the purpose of limiting the spread of fire, smoke and fire gases, in order to enable the three goals of fire protection:
- life safety
- property protection
- continuity of operations
The construction of such compartments and all their components is a matter of systems within systems, which use bounding to achieve fire-resistance ratings, all interdependent, forming part of an overall fire safety plan.
Fire compartmentation forms part of the basic fundamentals of a 'fire safe' building.
Understanding where these fire compartment lines are, or where they should be located, is critical in maintaining safe escape routes and reducing the spread of hot gases and smoke in the event of a fire.
Specialist knowledge is required to understand the fire strategy of a building and how the occupants might react in an emergency. It is this knowledge, training, and experience, which allow us at FireQuest to determine where these physical compartment walls, floors, ceilings and doors are where they should be.
Understanding the structure of a building, and how the emergency fire evacuation plan works, is of paramount importance, especially if there is a sleeping risk, or occupants are 'dependant' or 'highly dependent', such as in care homes or hospitals. In these circumstances the evacuation plan of a building will normally require 'Phased Horizontal Evacuation' (PHE) and specifically designed and intact fire compartments are necessary.
We have designed fire strategies and carried out fire compartmentation surveys since 2002 and are experts in this field. We use this knowledge and experience to determine whether existing buildings meet current fire safety standards and if compartment lines are intact and 'suitable and sufficient'.
Our surveyors visit site, assess the compartments and check on fire stopping around these compartments including all required fire door assemblies. A report is then produced, and an action plan presented with a quote for any necessary work.
Our contractors are highly skilled and will always go that extra mile to ensure their quality standards meet all codes of practices. In addition to this, all work is checked and signed off by our fire door inspectors before we certify the completed work.
We have worked closely with a number of fire brigades and building control officers in order to achieve 'fire safe' buildings. Over the years we have had many satisfied customers, including the Royal Masonic Benevolent Fund (RMBI), who over the past four years have invested over 35 million pounds in fire safety solutions. This brings their portfolio of 18 care homes up to current standards, including work on major projects involving compartmentation and fire stopping issues.
FireQuest can also represent you in any negotiations over fire safety issues with building control or fire services in order to get your building certified 'fire safe'.
If you require any help concerning fire compartmentation, please contact us on 08456120272 where one of our specialist advisors will discuss your requirements.