1. Introduction

1.1     The inspection of Passive Fire Protection (PFP) forms part of (or is an extension of) a fire risk assessment under appropriate fire safety legislation:

– Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (England & Wales) (FSO)
– Fire (Scotland) Act 2005

1.2     The most important consideration is the verification that the PFP supporting means of escape is adequate. In addition, the legislation referred to above is designed to save lives in the event of a fire but does not necessarily cover the issue of property protection. Building owners or insurers wishing to ensure that the building is capable of withstanding the spread of fire for a period longer than that necessary to evacuate its occupants should contact a qualified Fire Engineer for further guidance.

(Note: Quantum Compliance is also able to provide this more in-depth advice via its team of fire engineers).

1.3     PFP features are those ‘built-in’ to the fabric of a building to restrict the growth and spread of fire and smoke. They do this by:

– controlling the flammability of wall and ceiling linings;
– dividing the building into fire-resisting compartments;
– providing protection to the structure of the building to prevent its collapse; and
– providing protective routes for escape.

1.4     PFP products include: fire doors, fire-resisting walls, floors and ceilings, fire-resisting ducts and dampers, fire-stopping, and fire protection to structural components.

2. Quantum Compliance’s Approach

When completing PFP surveys, the following matters would be considered:

2.1     Lining materials for wall and ceilings on escape routes:

– extensive over-painting;
– addition of carpets and other significant wall hangings; and
– wall-coverings.

2.2 Fire doors:

– the importance of correct fitting of the door in the frame including door gaps;
– the importance of suitable fire tested ironmongery e.g. self-closing devices, latches etc.;
– the need for intumescent protection;
– the provision and condition of any smoke seals;
– the ability to self-close;
– release of self-closing device;
– emergency/panic escape doors; and
– air transfer grilles in fire doors.

2.3 Construction of fire-resisting walls, ceilings and floors forming escape routes:

– existing construction;
– layout;
– types of new construction; and
– hidden spaces.

2.4 Penetrating services in walls ceilings and floors forming escape routes:

– cables and pipes;
– ducts and dampers;
– support for penetrating services;
– fire protection to the structure of the building;
– cavity barriers;
– external fire spread; and
– sandwich panel construction.

3. Report Format

3.1     The specific format of the Fire Risk Assessment Report would be bespoke to the client, however it would include the following:

– Executive Summary – including a summary of the key findings and conclusions.
– Fire Safety Action Plan – containing a prioritised plan detailing any risk improvements.
– Fire Risk Assessment – containing a table of risk ratings by subject.
– Protocol – confirming the fire risk assessment methodology and risk rating and advice priority definitions.

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