Fire compartmentation

Restricts the spread

Fire compartmentation serves as a barrier that restricts the spread of both fire and smoke within a building.

These fire-resistant compartments constitute an integral element of a building’s structural design, primarily focused on safeguarding the lives of its occupants. Their essential role is to slow the spread of fire and smoke, facilitating the safe evacuation of individuals in the event of a fire.

Additionally, compartmentation plays a pivotal role in conserving property, as it effectively confines the fire, thereby aiding the efforts of emergency services.

Compartmentation is used to:

* Divide or sub-divide escape routes within a building

* Contain the fire to smaller areas

* More significant buildings, such as Care homes and accommodation providers will require multiple options for safe fire evacuation, which will prevent overcrowding in fire escape routes.

What is a Fire compartmentation Plan?

A fire compartmentation plan will detail the compartments within your building, and the fire rating it has been designed to.

The fire rating will indicate the number of minutes that a compartment will be resistant to fire.

Approved Document B, Volume 2 (2019) describes effective compartmentation as follows:

Effective compartmentation relies on both of the following’’.

  1. Fire resistance should be continuous at the joint between elements forming a compartment.
  2. Any openings between two compartments should not reduce the fire resistance.”

A fire compartment is typically constructed with:

  • Walls
  • Floor slabs
  • Soffits
  • Fire Doors
  • Fire rated glazing
  • Joins around the perimeter of each component are sealed using fire stopping materials to maintain the fire rating of the compartment. Likewise, if site services are forced to breach the compartment, for example, air conditioning, fire and smoke dampers are installed in the ductwork. 

Checking the integrity of your fire compartment against your compartmentation plan is an essential element of your health and safety risk assessment.

What is a Fire compartmentation Inspection?

A compartmentation inspection entails a thorough evaluation of the overall state of your fire compartment, ensuring it aligns with the design specifications of your building.

Considering the dynamic nature of modern structures, which may undergo changes like renovations or the installation of cabling and other services that could potentially breach the fire compartment, it is prudent to conduct regular examinations of your fire compartment to bolster fire safety measures.

A fire compartmentation inspection typically encompasses the following:

  • Evaluation of the condition of your fire compartment.
  • Assessment of the effectiveness of any fire stopping repairs or remedial actions that have been executed.
  • Verification of the integrity of seals applied to the edges of the compartment.
  • Scrutiny of the materials used and the competence of installation for any fire stopping procedures.
  • Comprehensive reporting that highlights any omissions or defects within the fire compartment.
  • Provision of recommendations for rectifying faults and deficiencies.

Inspecting your fire compartmentation and rectifying issues is critical for fire safety compliance, even if your building’s compartmentation plan is lost, incomplete or inaccurate.

The options available to building owners and operators who do not have complete records vary from:

  • Comprehensive fire safety survey, including forensic analysis of components to test their fire rating, to
  • Basic survey to identify generic issues from a visual inspection, and
  • Variations to suit the needs of your building and fire safety compliance objectives.

The purpose, desired outcome, and directives of your survey should be agreed upon in advance. This ensures you achieve the level of reporting and documentation you need.

How can we help? Fire compartmentation - ECE Group Services

Emphasizing testing and compliance, we are committed to assisting you in implementing the most suitable compartmentation strategy for your building. For more information on how your building can benefit from our expertise in fire prevention, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team today.

Please call the ECE Group Services team on 0203 757 7150

We offer specialist cleaning services including grease extract ventilation cleaninglaundry extract ventilation cleaning and ductwork cleaning. We also offer fire safety solutions including fire stopping, fire compartmentation and testing and inspecting.

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