If you’re in the process of constructing a new building, it’s important to make sure that you take the time to plan out and implement firestops. Firestops are sections in your building’s structure where fireproof materials are installed to help prevent the spread of flames through ventilation systems or from room to room. In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about firestops, including how they work and why they’re so important.
What Is Fire Stopping?
Once your house is built, you want to make sure that it doesn’t burn down. This is where fire stops come in. They’re a way of stopping fires from spreading through a building via a series of tests and approvals that must be met before construction or remodeling. Remember, fires don’t play by any set of rules, many standards exist for fire safety, all designed with different priorities. The codes are implemented at both national and state levels, so whether you live in Florida, Wyoming, or anywhere else, know that your area may have fire protection laws.
Fire Stopping Products
- Fire Sleeves
Fire sleeves help stop or slow a fire from spreading beyond a compartment or room. They come in various sizes and materials, including metal/aluminum, polyethylene, copper, and cross-linked polyethylene (PEX). Unlike other fire-stopping products, these are not dependent on being attached to a structure or another product. Some sleeves can be used as stand-alone systems.
- Metal Enclosures
Metal enclosures are permanent structures made from metals that conduct heat away from building materials, while simultaneously slowing down flame spread with some resistance. They are generally found in businesses where their longevity is an asset, such as auto shops or heavy-equipment facilities.
- Fire Collars
Fire collars are designed to be fitted around vents. They prevent smoke and flames from reaching inside wall cavities, where they can cause extensive damage. Fire collars must be fitted by a professional, but you can buy them online, so it’s worth looking into them if you want an added level of protection for your property. Usually, contractors or builders will fit fire collars before applying plasterboard sheets over them. This method is not always perfect, but it does provide an extra barrier against fire and smoke damage.
- Fire Sealants and Gap Fillers
Based on your fire rating, you’ll need fire sealants and gaps fillers for your wall cavities. Sealants stop fires from spreading by filling in holes around pipes, cables, wires, etc. While gap fillers protect against fires that can travel through small spaces like doors or window seals. Fire sealants and gap fillers are often combined in one package when you purchase them.
- Firestop Spray
Firestop spray is used to seal small gaps between walls and floors, ensuring that fire cannot spread into other areas. Firestop spray must be applied correctly for it to work properly. It should be sprayed in continuous lines every 2ft in-between floors and walls. Some firestops are activated when exposed to fire, a chemical reaction hardens them until they set like concrete; others are not activated by heat but act as an air gap so that if there were any gap, it would fill it.
It’s easy to see why fire-stopping products are so important. By taking just a few minutes to learn about them, you can avoid severe damage and injury. Your business will be safer for it. If you want more information about protecting your home or business with fire stop products, contact us today, we’re ready and waiting to assist you!