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WHAT DOES FIRESTOPPING DO?
Firestopping is considered a form of passive fire protection in a building. It’s intention is to help slow the rate of fire throughout a building by containing it within a room.
But what exactly does that mean and how is it done?
The materials used in the assembly are all governed by UL / ULC laboratories in both Canada and the USA. Products going into the assembly need to be designed together (ie insulation and sealant material) and must be tested to provide the rating. Because materials melt at different levels it’s important that they be selected and designed to survive in high temperatures.
WHERE CAN I FIND
FIRESTOPPING IN A BUILDING?
firestopping can be found within a building at many different locations. some of the most common locations where firestopping can be found include:
horizontal gaps between floors (ie at expansion joints)
penetrations in fire rated walls where services run through
around door frames
tops and bottoms of fire rated walls
joints in fire rated shaft walls
these are just a few of the examples of where it can be found. the important thing to remember is that any time there is a room that requires a fire rating firestopping is most likely present to seal any of the cracks and openings going in and out of the room.
HOW CAN I IDENTIFY
WHERE IT’S REQUIRED?
an easy way to identify where firestopping needs to be applied in a building is to review the fire separation plans. don’t know what a fire separation plan is?
a fire separation plan is typically prepared by the architect and defines, based on the building code, where fire rated walls occur. it identifies the separation and the required rating by highlighting them on a floor plan.
by reviewing which partitions have fire ratings you can easily determine which walls and slabs require firestopping to ensure the continuation of the fire rating.
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