What is passive fire protection designed to do?
Passive fire protection is part of a building's systems to do a variety of things. If installed correctly, it should reinstate the fire rating of walls, floors and ceilings where penetrations have been made to allow services to pass through.
What regulations cover passive fire protection?
In England and Wales, you should refer to Building Regulations Approved Document B (ADB).
Is third-party accreditation mandatory?
At the moment, third party certification is not a legal requirement of the building regulations but there is an obligation on all parties involved in building or refurbishment to ensure that the requirements of the regulations are installed correctly. The best way to ensure that you are meeting that requirement is to only employ installers with third party certification. Then you are assured that the installing company and their operatives have been trained and their competence assessed.
Can I specify a manufacturer or product for you to use on my project?
You can specify a manufacturer of products that you would like us to use on your project but we must check that the products offered have test evidence that they will perform in your building. This is a fundamental requirement of our third party certification. We will examine the manufacturer's documents and the exact product used and the configuration of those products will form part of your site documentation for your Operations & Maintenance manual.
Can products from different manufacturers be used together?
No. Manufacturer's only test their own configurations of products and then publish the results. This is fundamental to the certification of an installation.
How will you document my installation?
We use a system called Bolster. This enables us to track, photograph and sign off every individual installation on a project in real time.
Will you issue a certificate?
Yes. We have third party certification from IFC. At the start of every project, they are informed via their website. This gives them the opportunity to require a random audit.
What training is available in passive fire protection?
If you are looking to become a passive fire protection operative, the first thing we recommend is that you complete the Association of Passive Fire Protection Introduction to... course. This is a Level 1 course that is accessed online and will give you a good overview of the work involved and how it works with other fire protection measures in a building such as sprinklers.
There is an NVQ available for PFP, but these tend to be for experienced operatives that need a formal qualification rather than something that provides training to a complete newbie.
ASFP have other courses at Level 2 and 3 that involve instructor led training.
Most manufacturers provide some level of training. This can range from a two-hour CPD presentation to a one-day course. It is worth going to as many of these as you can find. Most of the core products are fundamentally the same (but cannot be interchanged) but each manufacturer has one or two distinct products that may solve a difficult installation problem.
What is the difference between integrity and insulation?
Passive fire protection ratings are expressed in terms of hours and generally there are two ratings that should be considered.
Can you inspect and sign off work done by others?
No, unfortunately we can only provide certification for works done by us. There are some companies that can provide you with reassurance for work in place but generally they will require you to know what products were used and will most likely want to do some destructive testing. This will only be a "best efforts" report, not certification.