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Intumescent Fire Protection Products

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When fire takes hold in building, quite apart from ensuring early warning and the safe evacuation of all persons, and informing the fire brigade there are a number of things to bear in mind. These include:

  • Extreme heat causes distortion of e.g. doors, and melting and distortion of e.g. service pipes, and the heating and combustion gases which rise towards the ceiling area.
  • Poisonous gases and smoke (hot and cold) can spread quickly between spaces, rooms, corridors and floors as the hot gases flow from high pressure to low pressure. These gases, the smoke and flames can therefore travel more easily and quickly through surfaces where there are gaps, a lack of integrity / where the integrity of a surface has been breached and / or not properly protected in the first place. Smoke, and gases can also spread quickly through any other (necessary) gaps between spaces, rooms, floors and ceilings e.g. ventilation systems, pipes, electrical trunking, lights etc.
  • Fire will more easily be able to attack other areas where a building structure is vulnerable e.g. gaps behind door frames, recessed switch and socket boxes etc.
  • Electro mechanical devices cannot be totally relied upon as a sole means of controlling the spread of fire, heat gases and smoke because these devices may not function correctly because e.g. they are distorted or damaged by heat or their power supplies are damaged.

It is clear from these points that a specialised and failsafe method of protecting from and slowing the spread of fire, smoke and gases as well as meeting building regulations needs to be easily incorporated in a building's structure either from its initial construction, or retrospectively.

Intumescent Fire Protection Products

Intumescent material reacts to the levels of heat generated by fire by expanding to many times its own size. It also creates a large amount of char which can have a choking and stalling effect on the flames that are trying to find a way from one space to another. The expanding reaction means that during a fire it fills gaps and spaces and closes off pipes, ducts, trunking, door frames and any other spaces that may allow fire to spread, thus containing the spread of the fire.

A wide variety of specialised products are available to cover all aspects of building protection - click the links on the left hand side for detailed information about each. Examples of these products include:

  • Fire and Smoke Dampers - These compact and lightweight dampers can be fitted into ventilation systems. They require minimum maintenance, are very cost effective and provide a great line of defence.
  • Door Upgrading - Fireplug CFPM intumescent paper, ICT water based acrylic and TSC sealing coat (to protect the other layers) can be applied to a timber door to improve its fire resistance. Fireplug Intumescent Strips can be applied to the edge of the door and the door frame, and intumescent fire seals can be fitted to the back of door frames.
  • Intumescent Ventilation Grills - These can be used to replace and non fire resistant grills e.g. doors, ventilation ducts, stud walls etc. They will expand and close of these potential route for rapid spread in the event of a fire.
  • Intumescent Pipe Bandages - These are installed around PVC pipes. When the pipe melts in a fire the intumescent material expand to fill and close the gap.
  • Intumescent Pipe Canisters / Pipe Closers - These are metal canisters filled with intumescent material that are used where a pipe reaches a wall or ceiling.
  • Flame Retardant Coatings, Paints and Varnishes - The various types can be applied to timber, particle boards and steel.
  • Electrical Trunking Closers - These consist of intumescent material that is enclosed in foil and is attached to the inside of electrical trunking. The intumescent material expands ton close the gap in the trunking under the effects of the heat form the fire.
  • Cable Passthroughs - Fireplug Cable passthrough (CPT) and (CPTC) provide protection where cables pass between e.g. walls, floors and suspended ceilings.
  • Socket / Switch Box Covers - These provide intumescent protection where switch and socket boxes have been recessed into walls.
  • Hinge and Locks - Fireplug CFPM Intumescent membrane Paper can be used to protect locks and hinges. The overall integrity of a door against fire means looking at all potential gaps or ways through.

For more information about these and the many other intumescent fire protection products please call us on the number shown below.

Complete Fire Protection Ltd. Unit 2, Ferry Steps Industrial Estate, Albert Road St Philips, Bristol BS2 0XW
Tel 0117 971 1917 Fax 0117 971 1727 or for more products, information and support email us.