Passive fire protection is key for all buildings

by Tania Wannenburg

One of the most important considerations during the design, specification and construction of new buildings or renovations is passive fire protection for the safety of the structure and the protection of human life.

To ensure the safety of a structure and protect human life, a combination of active and passive fire-protection measures is important to control potential fires in buildings.

Passive fire-protection products and systems are either built into the structure or added to the building to increase its fire resistance. When a fire breaks out, these components become active and separate the building into compartments, which helps to contain the fire and limit its spread to other parts of the building for a certain amount of time to allow safe evacuation of occupants and the entry of firefighters.

Fire-rated elements
Separating components such as doors, walls, glazed screens and curtain walls should maintain their integrity to form a physical barrier against flames and smoke, and in some cases reduce heat transmission to prevent temperatures rising in unaffected compartments.

For this purpose, FG Trading sources fire-rated systems as well as fire-rated glass for the construction of fire-resistant glazed doors, partition walls, screens, vertical and sloped glazing and curtain walls. These high-quality systems are developed and manufactured by a Swiss company, Forster, and consist of steel or stainless steel which is ideal for fire protection due to its high strength, high temperature resistance, minimal heat transfer and no emission of toxic fumes. They also offer design freedom and provide a modern, visually-appealing finish thanks to their slender visible sections.

Blocking fire
Building services such as pipes, cables, ducts and electrical sockets can compromise the fire resistance of a room as they pass through walls, floors and ceilings, creating an easy route for fire.

FG Trading offers a comprehensive range of fire-stopping products for the sealing of construction movement joints, building gaps and service penetrations from UK-based supplier, Nullifire, a specialist in the field of passive fire protection. These high-performance products work in conjunction with other passive fire-protection systems to reinstate the fire resistance of compartment walls, floors and ceilings, and prevent the passage of smoke and fire for a specified time. In some cases thermal, acoustic and air-seal performance is also provided.

Fire-rated cladding
The exterior cladding of the building should not be overlooked, because, if combustible, it can cause fire to spread rapidly across the facade and burn out of control.

FG Trading is the exclusive Southern African distributor of the world-renowned Alcopanel FR aluminium composite panels, which comprise a non-flammable mineral core between two aluminium sheets that prevents fire spreading, is non-toxic and does not release poisonous gases during a fire. Specifically designed for architectural cladding, Alcopanel FR is extremely versatile and available in a wide variety of colours and finishes. In addition, they are also chemical-, corrosion- and weather-resistant and boast self-cleaning properties.

Quality choices
FG Trading’s range of passive fire-protection solutions offers architects freedom of design without compromising on fire safety. A passive fire-protection system is only as efficient and reliable as the sum of its components, and therefore all products have been tested extensively and comply with the relevant local and international fire-safety standards.

FG Trading
Tel: 011 450 0263
Website: www.fgtrading.co.za


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