The issue of fire within buildings is a complex one, and in this article, we will be looking at the use of passive fire protection for brickwork façades.
Why is passive fire protection for Brickwork façades important?
To begin with, we need to understand that passive fire protection comprises various different components within a system, which work together to impede or slow the spread of fire throughout a building. The system uses fire rated floors, walls and ceilings to compartmentalise the building and prevent the spread of fire. Concealed cavities within a building run the risk of being the ideal space through which a fire can rapidly spread, whether this space is within a floor, ceiling, wall, or external facade, fire protection must be included. Passive fire protection products used in brickwork façades have something of a design conflict, as they must maintain breathability while preventing smoke and fire from passing through.
What are Cavity Barriers and Fire Stops?
Both cavity barriers and fire stops are elements of passive fire protection, and each serves a slightly different purpose.
Fire Stops: This element of passive fire protection is designed to seal or close any gaps between the building structures which are required to be fire resistant, or are installed at any junction or joint within the fire protection element.
Cavity Barriers: These products are used in concealed spaces, such as those found in cavity walls and ceiling voids, and are used to prevent smoke or flames from penetrating the area and to restrict the movement of fire within a building.
What are Brickwork façades?
In the 20th century, it became common practice to build an interior and exterior brick wall, moving away from the single wall builds which had traditionally been used. The outer brick wall, otherwise known as a façade, helps to prevent dampness and moisture from penetrating the building, as well as provide a cavity in which to put insulating materials. However, while this cavity does have its benefits, it can also act as a funnel or a chimney, pushing smoke, heat and flames upwards, which can lead to the rapid spreading of fire. To combat this, passive fire protection products can be placed within the façade cavity, and while brick is non-combustible, the addition of fire protection systems ensures that the façade meets all relevant fire safety measures.
Why are Brickwork façades increasingly popular?
Brickwork façades, aside from being inherently fire resistant, are increasing in popularity due to a recent change in legislation. In high-rise buildings over 18 metres in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and over 11 metres in Scotland, brick façades are now common in multi-occupancy, residential dwellings, as well as commercial buildings.
Passive Fire Protection Products for Brickwork façades from PFC Corofil
Here at PFC Corofil, we work with brickwork contractors as well as specialist contractors who work solely on brick façades. We have a broad range of passive fire protection solutions that are backed by superior test data when compared to comparable products, as well as being tested and certified by 3rd party fire test laboratories.
How to know what type of passive fire protection to use
Unlike active protection, passive fire protection products in brick façades do not need to be activated in order to operate. They are added to the cavities within the façade and will either confine the fire or restrict and inhibit its spread. At PFC Corofil, we have a broad range of products, which can be inserted into brick façades. If you need assistance choosing the right product, our team is on hand to help with your passive fire protection requirements.