Fire Compartmentalisation

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Rowebin
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Fire Compartmentalisation

Post by Rowebin » Tue Dec 04, 2018 4:57 pm

Hello all,

The company I work for are in the process of having quotes for fire doors replaced. :D

This has previously been an after thought and not looked at since the buildings were made - 1990's I think.

Currently all the doors are "Fire Doors" however they are next to a suspended ceiling where the fire could just nip over the top if it were so inclined. The wall only goes up about 2 inches above the false ceilings so my feeling is the fire doors are a bit pointless in the areas where this is possible?

Can anyone shed any light or push me in the right direction of where to look?

Many thanks,

Rowebin

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Mel GT
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Re: Fire Compartmentalisation

Post by Mel GT » Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:02 pm

Hi, fire is not my specialist subject, but there does need to be fire stopping between areas to stop the fire jumping from an open area to a protected area. Would suggest getting a fire stopping survey done and a new fire risk assessment as well unless this is what has just high lighted this issue

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NGC
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Re: Fire Compartmentalisation

Post by NGC » Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:48 pm

There needs to be adequate fire breaks between compartments, its also a good idea to check for areas where pipework passes through walls too as these are often not filled properly (with fire rated filling) and can be an issue.
Your own safety is at stake when your neighbor's wall is ablaze.

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Messy
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Re: Fire Compartmentalisation

Post by Messy » Wed Dec 05, 2018 5:04 am

Before your firm spends thousands on fire stopping work, you should make sure that you need that compartment in the first place

I have seen numerous fire doors fitted in places where there was no need. They are marked fire do it and have strips and seals, but have been provided in error

Approved Doc B will give some guidance as will the relevant HM fire safety guides (both free online). But getting an invasive survey carried out by a competent person will ensure your resources are targetted correctly and not wasted

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Re: Fire Compartmentalisation

Post by andybz » Wed Dec 05, 2018 9:40 am

Just asking as I have no expertise in this area. Could the ceiling itself be a fire barrier? In which case would compartmentalisation above the ceiling not be required?
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witsd
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Re: Fire Compartmentalisation

Post by witsd » Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:10 am

Some types of ceiling tiles can be fire rated (up to 30 minutes, I think, but don't take my word for that), but if you have no evidence to back that up (or if it's not solidly in place) then it counts for nothing.

In my experience, most suspended ceilings will allow tiles to lift out of place when a strong draft blows through, so they certainly wouldn't help in a fire.
We often think that when we have completed our study of one we know all about two, because 'two' is 'one and one.' We forget that we still have to make a study of 'and.'

Rowebin
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Re: Fire Compartmentalisation

Post by Rowebin » Wed Dec 05, 2018 2:54 pm

Mel GT wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:02 pm
Hi, fire is not my specialist subject, but there does need to be fire stopping between areas to stop the fire jumping from an open area to a protected area. Would suggest getting a fire stopping survey done and a new fire risk assessment as well unless this is what has just high lighted this issue
Hello Mel,

Thanks for the response. The condition of the doors was not brought up in the Fire Risk Assessment we had carried out in April, however it was brought up by the same consultancy as part of their quarterly reviews of our property and practices.

The Risk Assessment says there is compartmentalization, but only based on a visual inspection. So I have reason to expect this was not very thorough and it does not tell me what doors are actually required as fire doors.

Due to the cost, we have initially had quoted for the, what we consider higher risk doors, this includes those that go into the boiler rooms, into kitchens (thats pretty much it, we have numerous warehouses with very little in terms of rooms or corridors) there is an upstairs office, so the doors at the bottom of the stairs that go into the kitchen are fire doors. The door at the top of the stairs is currently an old fire door, but because of the false ceiling I don't think it would actually do anything!

Thanks to everyone who has replied, really appreciate it.

Kind regards,

Row

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