Protecting our Futures

Fire Compartmentation Surveys

Avesta Scotland Limited

Fire Compartmentation Survey

In the event of a fire, certain crucial measures provide protection by subdividing a building into manageable area of risk to restrict the growth and spread of fire and also protect structural elements from fire to prevent their early collapse. This allows time for the occupants to escape and provides a degree of protection for firefighting.  

Standard 2.1

2.1 Compartmentation Mandatory Standard

Every building must be designed and constructed in such a way that in the event of an outbreak of fire within the building, fire and smoke are inhibited from spreading beyond the compartment of origin until any occupants have had the time to leave that compartment and any fire containment measures have been initiated.

Importance of Compartmentation for fire protection

Passive fire protection is one part of a package of safety measures, along with active fire protection such as sprinklers and alarms, and fire safety management that all work together to protect life and property in the event of a fire. Passive measures provide protection by their very existence and are largely unseen, however they are vital to the stability and integrity of a building or structure when attacked by fire.  They serve the purpose to separate the building into areas of manageable risk, to restrict the growth and spread of fire and also protect structural elements from fire to prevent their early collapse. This allows time for the occupants to escape and provides a degree of protection for firefighting. Recommendations for fire resistance are expressed in terms of time and the ability of dividing elements such as walls or floors to contain fire and/or maintain insulation values. The materials used for protection have an established fire resistance performance, verified by testing, however in order to be effective, the materials used need to be correctly specified, installed and maintained. As per the Scottish Building Regulations, click here, the installation of such is recommended to be by 3rd Party Accredited specialist fire protection companies who have trained staff and skilled tradesmen who are competent to carry out such works.* Avesta Scotland Limited are accredited through the third party scheme for installers, FIRAS, by WarringtonFire. The fire resistance of walls can be significantly reduced by any weakness at junctions of fire-resisting compartments and openings. Where services pass through compartment walls, such breaching of compartments, potentially increases the amount of damage due to smoke and fire.

Compartmentation Surveys performed to the highest standard

Avesta Scotland Limited Compartmentation Surveys review these passive fire measures and report back in a clear and concise manner which can assist anyone with responsibilities for fire safety. Avesta Compartmentation Surveys are carried out using a proprietary software system that would allow us to upload the building layout, ideally the fire strategy drawings, and then plot the items that were surveyed on this drawing to allow a clear indicator of the work surveyed and the detailed findings together with photographs taken at each location.  Walls, doors, ceilings can be inspected with feedback on each element and with a date stamp shown, any subsequent damage can be identified from one inspection to the next. Reports can be issued as a PDF or a CSV / Excel file, which can be used by building maintenance / facilities management to guide reactive maintenance works.

The system can also be utilised by the existing building owners to highlight areas where post survey works have been carried out, e.g. installation of new services, sprinkler pipes, additional data cabling etc. thus providing the traceability of maintenance works.  The system can monitor fire door surveys, building up inspection histories, for inclusion within other documentations such as Insurance Inspections and Fire Risk Assessments for example.

Since the recent tragic events have increased the awareness of tenants, building owners, landlords and the public at large, it is clear that detailed surveys are critical to provide assurances and to ensure compliance with fire safety requirements for life and property protections, together with securing the future heritage of our culturally important landmarks.

As detailed within the Association for Specialist Fire Protection document, Fire Liability and You (attached) everyone involved in the specification, procurement and installation of passive fire measures has a responsibility as per the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015.

With experienced staff, who understand the limitations of passive fire protection products, who are trained to review the building strategy and who install those products on a daily basis to the highest standards, we are able to provide both an inspection and third party accredited installation service.

Contact us to discuss how we can help you and your fire safety compliance.

Avesta – protecting all of our futures.

*2.0.10 Independent schemes of certification and accreditation.

Certification – Scottish Ministers can, under Section 7 of the Building (Scotland) Act 2003, approve schemes for the certification of design or construction for compliance with the mandatory functional standards. Such schemes are approved on the basis that the procedures adopted by the scheme will take account of the need to co-ordinate the work of various designers and specialist contractors. Individuals approved to provide certification services under the scheme are assessed to ensure that they have the qualifications, skills and experience required to certify compliance for the work covered by the scope of the scheme. Checking procedures adopted by Approved Certifiers will deliver design or installation reliability in accordance with legislation. Third party accreditation – Since the performance of a system, product, component or structure is dependent upon satisfactory site installation, testing and maintenance, independent schemes of certification and accreditation of installers and maintenance firms of such will provide confidence in the appropriate standard of workmanship being provided. Confidence that the required level of performance can be achieved will be demonstrated by the use of a system, material, product or structure which is provided under the arrangements of a product conformity certification scheme and an accreditation of installers scheme. Third party accredited product conformity certification schemes not only provide a means of identifying materials and designs of systems, products or structures which have demonstrated that they have the requisite performance in fire, but additionally provide confidence that the systems, materials, products or structures actually supplied are provided to the same specification or design as that tested/assessed. Third party accreditation of installers of systems, materials, products or structures provides a means of ensuring that installations have been conducted by knowledgeable contractors to appropriate standards, thereby increasing the reliability of the anticipated performance in fire. Local authority verifiers may accept the certification of products, components, materials or structures under such schemes as evidence of compliance with the relevant standard. Similarly, local authority verifiers may accept the certification of the installation or maintenance of products, components, materials or structures under such schemes as evidence of compliance with the relevant standard. Nonetheless, a local authority verifier may wish to establish, in advance of the work, that any such scheme is adequate for the purposes of the Building Regulations. Many certification bodies which approve such schemes are accredited by UKAS.

ACCREDITED FOR PASSIVE FIRE PROTECTION, THERMAL INSULATION AND CONCRETE

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