Whether it is installation or the maintenance of passive fire protection (PFP) systems, the industry is now seeing the issues resulting from the poor specification, installation and maintenance of PFP systems.
These systems and products are part of the building structure and are vital to restricting the growth and rapid spread of fire, smoke and other hot gases throughout the building. By design, they are an intrinsic part of the structure controlling the flammability of wall and ceiling linings, dividing the building into fire and smoke cells and providing stability during a fire event to structural elements to prevent its collapse. The PFP of a building (Building Act 2004) will provide tenable escape routes for persons to escape and, in addition, provide an element of protection to allow firefighters to complete their job. Therefore, the PFP is either an element of construction such as a wall or floor, or an additional system such as a fire door, fire damper or fire-stopping material.
It is imperative that all PFP measures have been appropriately designed, specified, and installed to enable the building to behave as predicted should a fire occur. These systems are ‘passive’ in nature and then will only ‘perform’ when required.
To this end, it is essential that these systems will work if an emergency occurs and experience informs us that PFP fail due to predictable reasons. The main passive issues that the CoveKinloch fire engineering team witness on a regular basis during site visits, is that holes made for the passage of cables, electrical and data, or pipework has either not been fire-stopped by a proprietary fire resistant material or the fire-stopping has been completely poorly. These issues get overlooked due to a lack of knowledge and experience of these systems from all of the parties involved in the construction and inspection process including Building Control Authorities (BCA).
Click here for examples of Good and Bad Practices.
So how can the team at CoveKinloch New Zealand Ltd assist you in protecting your people? We can complete both non-invasive and invasive inspections on your behalf to identify and catalogue any issues that are present. After this initial stage, if required, we can then manage the installation/rectification process for you and ensure that all Quality Assurance (QA) processes are in place to ensure not just a compliant but a ‘fit for purpose’ solution is in place.