Compartmentation or firestopping is a very effective way to prevent a fire from spreading across a whole building. It basically aims to keep the fire in the compartment it started in giving the firefighters time to get to the building before huge damage and potential loss of life happens. Those fire compartments and the use of well-placed fire doors can be crucial and should be a big part of your fire strategy for the building. Having a fire door and fire compartmentation survey is a good way to assess whether fire resisting partitions and doors are installed by experts to achieve the best possible fire safety.

Why is fire stopping so important?

If you look at the statistics they show that three-quarters of all fire deaths are actually from smoke inhalation rather than burning. Half of the deaths related to fires happen in a room where the fire did not start. They were in rooms the fire spread to. If you have just a pencil-sized hole in a 6 metre by 6-metre room it will take less than 4 minutes for smoke to fill that room from a fire nearby. About 50 years ago experts realised that reducing loss of life and damage was possible with compartmentation. It was especially effective in places like nursing homes, prisons, hospitals and high-rise buildings.

What is a fire compartmentation survey?

You hire expert surveyors to inspect your property and all the identified compartment lines. The point is to judge how they would perform if there was a fire. If there is any weakness at all there is a high risk the fire spreads and more people suffer injuries or die. Common problems inspectors see are pipework going into or out of compartments and not taken into account, poor firestopping, ducts, cabling or other penetrations. This means the smoke and the fire can pass from one compartment to the next. There are different types of surveys and the type you need depends on the type of building you have and its use.

Fire door inspections

Another inspection you can have is to look at the protocols of the fire doors you have and inspect what is in place, the condition of existing doors and if you have them in the best places and so on. A fire door survey gets a pass or fail along with recommendations on repairs and solutions if any are needed. It is important that just with any kind of official inspection you hire only inspectors with official training and qualifications. A defined layout of standards and criteria are evaluated so you can get independent and trustworthy results and advice.  As well as looking at the doors they also inspect the frames.

Conclusion

When looking to have a compartment and fire door survey make sure you find professional inspectors who work to the industry standards and are properly qualified. The key to stopping a fire and the smoke from spreading in a building is to keep it to one section, or at least slow it right down. 

Author's Bio: 

This article penned by Lora Davis