Issue 19 - August 2014
The Association for Specialist Fire Protection is pleased to announce that its Passive Fire Protection (PFP) Awareness Training Programme is now available.
This new awareness training scheme,ss developed in cooperation with CITB and the Fire Protection Association, aims to significantly improve overall standards of PFP installation, leading to an up-skilling of the existing workforce by creating a recognised and measurable industry benchmark.
The course offers a core module followed by a range of specialist pathway programmes. The core module introduces general fire safety concepts. This two day course is aimed at all those who wish to gain a rounded understanding of the appropriate specification and installation of passive fire protection materials and systems. For example, designers, specifiers, distributors, main contractors, installers of PFP, allied trades, fire risk assessors, enforcement officers and Responsible Persons.
Each of the one day pathway supporting modules is designed to give a practically-focused insight into a specific passive fire protection discipline, which include: Fire Stopping; Structural Steel Protection; Doors; Partitions, Floors and Ceilings; Ducts and Dampers; and Glazing.
The scheme, which was launched at Firex International, is now being rolled out nationally, with places available on the Core Module on 6-7 October and 8-9 December. For further information visit, the ASFP website or click here to book.
In response to customer demand, Exova Warringtonfire has expanded the fire testing capabilities at its main Warrington site. By introducing a multi-directional movement rig, the company can now offer performance testing of linear gap seals under movement conditions.
The test (European Standard EN1366 Part 4) examines the performance of seals and sealant material used in the joints of any commercial building, determining performance in both normal conditions and during and after a fire event. This new test sits alongside standard static joint testing, giving customers a one-stop-shop for the testing of seals.
Exova Warringtonfire is the first European testing house to offer multi-directional movement to the test as standard, delivering a more comprehensive and reliable result.
Rob Veitch, Director at Exova Warringtonfire, said: “We’ve introduced the movement test to give our customers a platform to demonstrate how their product would perform in a real-life application; through this test evidence they can build confidence in their products and gain competitive advantage in the marketplace.”
The multi-directional test was developed by Exova Warringtonfire for initial trial with FSI Limited, which manufactures and develops built-in fire protection systems. Ben Peach, General Manager of FSi Limited, commented: “First-time efficacy is one of the cornerstones of our business, and in particular of our customer care ethos. Working with Exova to develop a test that pushes our products beyond the basic testing levels for UK, Europe and global regulation, gives us an essential edge in the market.”
Following successful initial tests the service is now available to all of Exova’s customers.
Avesta Scotland has produced triangular warning label which can be used by facilities managers to identify compartment walls.
The labels, which Avesta recommends are placed every 1,500mm on compartment walls, aim to highlight the presence of the compartment wall to other trades to prevent breaches. They instruct contractors to seek a permit to work before penetrating the compartment.
“Our triangular labels have been well received, in particular by NHS and other personnel dealing with high risk buildings such as care homes,” says Avesta Director Sharon Lobban.
“We place these in addition to our own fire seal (penetration) labels, in the hope that they will make people stop and think before drilling a hole and thus breaching the compartment wall.”
Recognising that many contractors have little awareness or understanding of passive fire protection, Avesta hopes that highlighting the location of compartment walls, will begin the process of education and help prevent needless breaches in compartmentation.
In a bid to promote growth and develop knowledge within the fire stopping industry, FSi is employing a number of apprentices in key areas such as clerical, accounting, production and quality control positions.
FSi is also investing in new machinery and manufacturing capability and continues to spend considerable sums in research and development projects.
The company employs a large workforce filled with highly skilled and dedicated people, which it says helps to guarantee the systems it produces are always manufactured to a high standard. With a greater demand for products and an increase in sales expected, FSi is seeking to further raise staff numbers by the end of the year.
FSi is always looking for new ways to increase brand awareness and recently exhibited at International Firex in June. This gave customers, clients, suppliers and even competitors a chance to meet the FSi team and learn more about what the company can offer.
BM TRADA offered a number of educational seminars and practical demonstrations at Firex International 2014 to bring to life the benefits of effective passive fire protection (PFP).
A charred fire door sample formed the heart of the BM TRADA stand, showing in dramatic fashion the effectiveness of correctly specified and installed fire doors. One side of the door was burnt, while the other side was unaffected. Correctly and incorrectly fitted doors were also shown side by side, on the stand and visitors were encouraged to open the doors to identify the errors. Examples of firestopping situations were also on show supported by a series of fire test videos.
During the event, BM TRADA also delivered its popular free half-day seminar, Fire Protection Measures – Understanding Your Responsibilities, which explains the duties of the Responsible Person under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order (RRFSO) and raises awareness of passive fire protection.
Further free events are scheduled to take place on 7 October, to coincide with Timber Expo at the NEC, Birmingham; and on 5 November at the Thistle Portland Hotel in Manchester.
Both the stand and the events proved highly popular, attracting a large number of visitors from a wide variety of industry sectors including facilities managers, fire service personnel, contractors and health and safety managers.
A new level in fire protection design estimation for the coatings industry has been unveiled by Sherwin-Williams Protective & Marine Coatings Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
For the first time, the software in the new Firetex Design Estimator 2.0 offers the capability of providing calculations for all shapes of apertures within cellular beams, as well as efficient handling of unfilled voids with trapezoidal profiled metal decking systems.
Other benefits include project sharing and guidance to all emerging Eurocode Design, which is independently tested and fully verified under the Exova Certifire scheme. In the case of cellular and fire engineered beams, this is further verified by the University of Manchester.
The estimation and design tool also provides support where a limiting temperature has been specified, removing any assumptions from all parties. Additional features offer the user the option of tailoring settings to their bespoke requirements and the ability to choose the countries and product design codes they wish to use. A new web download ensures the user is always up to date with current codes, Firetex products and software versions.
Bob Glendenning of Sherwin-Williams said: “This software is breaking new ground in terms of its availability and capabilities, and we believe it offers unrivalled accuracy and time and cost savings for our customers.”
For those wishing to learn more, the company is offering a series of invite-only training days.
Promat’s PROMATECT-L500 board was selected for a residential refurbishment project in Camden, London. The project needed proven fire protection for self-supporting mains gas risers which extended up through 21 storeys.
Promat devised the fire compartment system for the gas mains, which was constructed from PROMATECT-L500 boards provided by SIG Technical Insulation Beckton and installed by Fire Delay Contractors Ltd.
This was a refurbishment job which had some fairly specific requirements that we had to meet,” said Promat Area Sales Manager, Phil Telford.
“The fire officers involved were insistent that the main gas riser feeding each block of flats was either moved to the exterior of the building, or was separated from the main shaft in which it was located.
“The latter option was taken, and it was decided to compartmentalise the gas mains with a gas-tight, enclosure that would provide 120 minutes of fire resistance.”
PROMATECT-L500 is a low density calcium silicate board designed specifically for this type of application. It is a Class 0 product which is resistant to the effects of moisture and will not deteriorate physically either through age, or when used in damp conditions. Its resistance to mould growth and attack by insect or vermin made it ideal for this project.
For more information on PROMATECT-L500, contact your local SIG Technical Insulation branch.
Designed to accommodate the stresses placed on edge-of-slab firestopping, Hilti’s CFS-SP WB Firestop Joint Spray has been specially developed for curtain wall applications where flexibility and an ability to take up movement is required.
Under lifetime conditions, curtain wall façade systems are subject to wind loads, occupational live loads and shear movement. Furthermore, in the event of a fire the intense heat inside the building causes cladding to expand and flex, which poses even greater stresses on the edge-of-slab firestop system. Unless the product is flexible enough to compress and expand in the gap, the entire solution can be deemed useless.
Many conventional firestopping solutions rely on the friction fit between the slab edge and the curtain wall, which is not sufficient to withstand the movements present, ultimately causing the product to fall out of the gap. If additional measures such as brackets and tapes are used to avoid such failure, there is still the residual risk that gaps could develop resulting in air leakage, and the spread of smoke and flames.
Hilti’s CFS-SP WB offers up to 120 minutes’ fire and smoke resistance in edge-of-slab joints of up to 200mm wide and allows +/– 25% of joint width movement. It is CE-marked and has been tested to the new European Standard (ETA) requirements which comprise a real spandrel installation fire test according to EN 1364-4 and cyclic movement tests (500 cycles) according to ETAG 026-03.
It offers quick and easy installation, resulting in significant time and cost savings against traditional methods using steel plates and conventional slab-edge firestopping.
Rockwool has recently completed a major review of its product portfolio for use on the London Underground (LUL) tube system, including approvals for ‘below-ground’ use.
Although many products within Rockwool’s general building range have been approved for a number of years, this recent work updated those approvals and extended the FirePro fire protection and fire stopping product range.
The standards of compliance for any product intended for below ground use in the LUL system are extremely high. Many of the strict and onerous requirements were introduced following the tragic fire disaster at Kings Cross Station in 1987 when 31 people lost their lives.
All construction and fire stopping products are subjected to a rigorous testing procedure to evaluate their susceptibility to ignition and contribution to the growth and severity of a fire. Their tendency to generate smoke and toxic gas fumes when involved in a fire are a major concern and also assessed.
However, non-combustible Rockwool insulation is exempt from such testing and is deemed safe for use in the very sensitive environment of the London Underground system.
All of the Rockwool products now approved by LUL are eligible for use in the major refurbishment programme currently underway and also in the massive CrossRail project being built to link the major Network Rail terminals of Paddington and Liverpool Street. This project will allow passengers travelling on mainline over-ground trains to traverse London from West to East and vice-versa without the need to transfer to the tube system.
Asian manufacturer, Soben International has announced that its FP-900 calcium silicate board has achieved up to 4 hours’ fire resistance when tested in accordance with BS 476: Parts 20-24.
In extensive tests (including technical assessments) conducted by European notified laboratories, FP-900 calcium silicate board was shown to offer protection for ventilation steel duct systems, among other passive fire-rated systems.
Both FP-900 and MP-1000 are now available in the UK and Ireland. MP-1000 is a versatile calcium silicate board which offers up to 1 hour of fire resistance, as well as exceptional dimensional stability when exposed to fire and humid environments.
In tests conducted by Exova Warringtonfire UK, the boards have also achieved Reaction to Fire Classification A1 according to EN 13501-1: 2007, making them suitable for construction applications. More fire systems/tests are in the pipeline.
When tested by a MRA-accredited laboratory to BS EN 12467: 2004: Fibre-cement flat sheets - Product specification and test methods, Soben International ‘s full series of heavy duty fibre cement boards achieved Category A, making them suitable for applications where they may be subject to heat, high moisture and severe frost. They also achieved Reaction to Fire Classifications of A1 and A1Fl in flooring applications respectively.
Soben International’s heavy duty fibre cement boards are fully CE-marked and are available in different finishes including colour-through façade boards.
All Soben International products are made in accordance to ISO 9001: 2008 Certificate of Conformity of Quality Management System Certification, ISO 14001: 2004 Environmental Management System, Hong Kong Green Label, as well as the Singapore Green Label.
The Association for Specialist Fire Protection was praised for its work in raising awareness of passive fire protection at its Annual General Meeting, held at the Saddlers’ Hall in London on 4 July. With speakers emphasising the need for standards and competency, the ASFP was commended for its role in educating installers, building managers and enforcers.
Anthony Burd, Head of Sector - Construction at the British Standards Institution (BSI) explained the difference between standards and regulations. He stated that regulations merely set minimum legal requirements and were generally written by lawyers for Governments and contrasted this with standards which he said were written by experts with full stakeholder engagement.
Lloyd Morgan, National Secretary of the Universities Safety and Health Association (USHA) considered the competency of professionals involved in maintaining fire safety in the built environment throughout a building’s life. He too highlighted the need for suitable standards in order to ensure that those undertaking work are suitably competent and noted that third party certification offered greater assurance of adequate competency. He praised the ASFP for the work it is doing to raise awareness and understanding of passive fire protection.
ASFP CEO Wilf Butcher welcomed the growing recognition of the role of passive fire protection and reviewed a number of initiatives introduced by the ASFP. These include a series of regional seminars, the release of essential industry guidance documents and the launch of the ASFP’s Passive Fire Protection (PFP) Awareness Training Programme is now available, with core module courses running in October and December.