Passive Fire Protection
One of the big new issues facing the construction industry is the signoff of fire rated walls particularly the sealing of penetrations such as cables, pipes, ducts and other openings. Traditionally this has been left to individual trades to fill the openings they have made, but recently inspections have found that almost no trades are correctly sealing these penetrations and fire engineers are reluctant to sign these off without ensuring they are done correctly. This is a big concern as the individual trades are generally not qualified or experienced and often use inappropriate products - tradespeople regularly fill cavities with expanding foam on its own, where the BRANZ testing is with steel inner sleeves and fire rated mastic on the exposed surfaces. Evidence of correct installation is invisible once the task is complete and it is impossible to tell if the penetration has been completed incorrectly and will fail in a fire.
A record is kept of each penetration to allow accuracy for Code Compliance sign-off
As has happened in other parts of the country, the main building contractors are now tending to have all of the penetrations sealed by a specialist contractor once the services are installed. This ensures correct products are used for each opening and the seals are made to the correct fire ratings. This is certified by a PS3 by the contractor and the Fire Engineer then has confidence in issuing a PS4 for the Code Compliance.Often the issues relating to the sealing of penetrations only comes out during the final inspection as the deadline for handing the site over to the client is looming. The sealing process at this stage can cause the undoing of finished surfaces, add delays, and potentially incur penalties.
FFP Canterbury Ltd are fully certified under CSD sealing systems to install and certify fire penetrations as a separate and specific trade. Our qualified and experienced teams have installed systems in a number of buildings under the instruction of the main contractor and providing certification of each penetration using the correct product for each seal.
We complete this during the works period and consult on the most efficient means of providing services ducts to accommodate multiple services to ensure the costs of sealing are kept minimal. One duct for many services is more efficient to seal than many small openings the problem is that only an experienced contractor can provide a solution for mixed multiple services.
We are able to provide certified, approved solutions for the sealing of:
· PVC and plastic pipes
· Metal pipes
· Ventilation Ducts (dampers must be installed by the HVAC contractors)
· Cables single, multiple and in cable trays
· Large ducts with multiple services
Each penetration is individually recorded, photographed and mapped on as-built drawings for the engineer to be able to verify as required and for any future inspections. This plan can then be included as a part of the building Compliance Schedule. This ensures these openings retain the correct fire rating as the wall, and the engineers can sign off the building to complete the consent process. If you are a fire engineer, this service provides you piece of mind when issuing a PS4 for a building.
Contact our team today to find out more on passive fire protection.