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The Do’s and Don’ts of fire stopping for service penetrations

Commercial buildings, Offices, Government and public facilities and the majority of the infrastructure in Perth are in a constant state of change. Whether it’s a new construction, a building being refurbished or renovated, a commercial fit-out or a transformation of a residential building into office spaces; it can be a challenge to correctly seal fire penetrations given the complexity of building services in today’s built environment.

Architects, Engineers and contractors all have a part of responsibility for fire stopping through penetrations and good understanding of the requirements of the Building Code Australia (BCA) is key, specifically the application of C3.15 that can be confusing.

Everyday we see examples of both good and bad fire stopping work. The good work offers a compliant solution for the building, and the bad compromises the integrity and insulation requirements of fire rated walls and floors. Using a fire rated sealant is a good fire stopping solution in a lot of instances, but it needs to be specified and installed in line with the manufacturer’s tested systems. Installation instructions also provided by the manufacturer need to be closely followed to be compliant with the requirements of the Building Code Australia (BCA).

Some key principles to ensure compliance with fire stopping:

  • Only install products that are tested and approved in line with AS1530.4 and in AS 4072.1.
  • Ensure the installation matches the tested or assessed system.
  • Plan the routing of services, and allow adequate space for fire stopping products to be installed. AS4072.1 requires a minimum separation distance of 40mm in between service penetrations (unless a test is conducted which confirms a shorter distance). In reality, you will often require more space than 40mm to have the passive fire stopping product installed and still be compliant. 
  • Call in a fire stopping professional early- don’t wait until all of the services are installed; you might be pulling them out and starting again to achieve compliance.
  • Purchase your products from an expert who understands fire stopping, it will save you money in the long run.
  • Fire penetrations from project to project can be vastly different. Spend time early on in the project ensuring a passive fire management plan is in place to ensure your project is not held up at practical completion because of an oversight of key minor details.

Examples of good installation:

PROMASEAL® SupaWrap used for cable tray penetrations.
SupaWrap can be used in conjunction with PROMASEAL® Bulkhead Batt, PROMASEAL® Mortar, PROMASEAL® AN Acrylic Sealant and PROMASEAL® Fire Pillow systems in wall applications.

 

PROMASEAL® CIH cast-in fire collars, designed to be fixed to formwork prior to the pouring of concrete floor slabs.

 

PROMASEAL® FC Retrofit Collar, multipurpose collars that can be used with concrete slabs, masonry and lightweight walls/lined ceilings.

 

PROMASEAL® FCS Retrofit Collars (Socket Collars), designed to be fitted to existing pipe work that passes through floor slabs.

 

PROMASEAL® FCW Wall Collars, specifically designed for wall penetrations and require only 1 collar to be installed in the cavity of the wall.

 

What fire collars can be used for fire rated penetrations with more than one service in the opening?

Promat’s unique approval (FCO-2458) allows us to protect multiple types of building services with our range of retrofit Promat fire collars and provide up to 2 hours of protection. The approval allows for the following services to be combined in one fire collar:

  • uPVC Pipesfire rate multiple services
  • Electrical Cables
  • Lagged Copper Pipes

All of Promat’s retro fit fire collars up to 100mm in size can be used with this approval. The annular gap between services, and the inside of the collar is back filled with PROMASEAL Grafitex. The following retrofit fire collars can be used:

Please consult Progressive Materials for further information prior to installation of this system.

Learn more about fire collars in our blog article, ‘How do fire collars work?’.

To take a further look at Promat’s fire stopping systems available from us here at Progressive Materials, you can download the fire stopping technical manual by entering your details below








Typical mistakes to avoid when installing fire stopping products:

Below are some examples of poor planning and installation of fire stopping products. These examples are the result of poor planning, inexperienced trades and poor oversight from those responsible for the project.

 

Get the right training with Progressive Materials, WA’s expert in passive fire protection

At Progressive Materials we are all about education for ‘best practice’ for both the installation and specification of fire stopping systems.

We are the technical consultants for Promat products in Western Australia and offer FREE training on correctly fire sealing penetrations to Australian Standards in Western Australia. We can come to your office to present the training at a time that is suitable for you (WA only).

The training is best suited for:

  • Architects
  • Engineers
  • Certifiers
  • Contractors
  • Plumbers
  • Electricians
  • Mechanical Contractors
  • Builders

17 Jan 2022

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