Firestop Industries and Applications
Every industry has its own fire-protection and fire-prevention requirements, so tailor your firestop solutions to meet different sets of code mandates. The primary purpose of any fire protection system is to slow or stop the spread of fire, gases, heat, and smoke. White Cap is ready to help you assess different solutions for your firestop needs so you can find the right one for every project.
The Different Industries and Applications for Firestop
The following are some of the most common and unique ways that firestops are incorporated into fire-barrier systems.
Curtain WallPerimeter fire barrier is designed to prevent the interior spread of fires through the gap between a fire-rated floor and non-rated exterior wall. Ambitious designs and strict schedules mean that perimeter fire containment must be quick and easy to install correctly. Acoustic, thermal, and movement requirements can’t be ignored either. Perimeter fire barrier systems are tested according to ASTM E2307, "Standard Test Method for Determining Fire Resistance of Perimeter Fire Barriers Using Intermediate-Scale, Multi-Story Test Apparatus (ISMA)".
We offer products that meet UL Certification.
Interior FinishAnother complicated part of fire barriers is the walls. The interior finish can provide additional fire barrier protection by installing a joint system either into the wall or between the wall systems. Like the curtain wall, there are a lot of smaller components that have to be considered when designing the interior finish.
Depending on the regulations, you may encounter a project where you have some “no fly zones.” To accommodate the restrictions associated with the routing requirements, you’ll need to find reliable penetrants that can be installed in the flute valleys. Though it is a unique challenge, there are specialized plastic and metal penetrants that are specifically tested to meet fire code regulations.
Caulks and sprays are critical components of the interior finish because they can slow the progress of a fire. When the fire begins to burn through the wall, a carefully designed and executed interior finish can ensure that a fire meets resistance instead of easily passing through the walls.
Wood FrameWooden frames are particularly flammable because of how combustible wood is. When incorporating a wood frame in a building, you can add protection that will work as a part of the firestop. Firestops take into account the fact that wood shrinks, causing the building to shift and settle, creating gaps in the structure.
You can fix both problems by making the frame a part of your firestop design. There are a number of sealants and caulks that can be applied to create a membrane that allows the wood to be more flexible yet more fire resistant. You can also include membrane penetration systems and fireblocks to slow the spread of fire through the building. For steel sheet duct systems in the wood frame, you can add a protective wrap that will protect the wood during a fire.
Mechanical, Electrical, & PlumbingFire is particularly dangerous to mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems. To prevent the rapid spread of fire over these penetrations, you can design the firestop to incorporate sealants, devices and electrical protection. When you plan to pour concrete, include cast-in-place firestopping so you won’t need to conduct core drilling later to meet fire code.
Perhaps the easiest application is specially designed electrical outlets that will protect against fire for as long as two hours. The fire protection is a thin pad that is applied at the back of each outlet box, making it an easy addition as a part of the installation.
Industrial and Utility IndustriesBoth the industrial and utility industries have stringent fire codes because they pose unique challenges when protecting their facilities against fire. Both use a lot of potentially hazardous and flammable chemicals, requiring consideration for how to safeguard the chemicals in areas that are fire proofed. In the event that a fire does break out, you want to ensure that there are many firestopping measures in place to slow the spread of the fire, particularly near chemicals. This gives firefighters more time to put the fire out before it reaches those chemicals.
Water tightness is equally important as water can significantly damage critical industrial equipment. For example, plastic piping is often used in both industries for moving chemicals, conducting experiments in labs, and managing different types of waste. Firestop measures include collars and wrap strips that will protect these pipes so that they are watertight and protected against fires.
The oil and gas industries have some of the strictest requirements because of how flammable the substances are. Firestop measures help protect essential circuitry from fire and intense heat. Many of the applications listed in previous sections provide additional security to give firefighters longer to put out the flames before the situation becomes even more serious.
Unique Requirements of the Healthcare IndustryConstruction projects that involve the healthcare industry are particularly difficult because there are so many challenges that simply don’t exist in other industries. While most businesses seek to slow fire to give people the maximum amount of time to exit the building, hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare structures have to be designed to protect people who cannot leave the facility. The requirements for these facilities demand a different approach to provide protection for those who have to shelter-in-place.
Hospitals in particular are difficult to secure. People who are on life support or are otherwise unable to be moved need to be protected. Firestops are the best way to maximize the amount of time these patients and their attending nurses and doctors have until firefighters can put out the fire. You have to consider all of the potential risks to mechanical, electrical, and plumbing, then protect those systems so that they do not create additional risks for the staff and patients who have to remain in the facility in the event of a fire.