Everybody might not know what passive fire protection means. Fire is dangerous. But how can we avoid fire? The truth is that we can not prevent fires from starting; what we can do is to stop the fire spreading until it is put out or it stops on its own due to lack of oxygen or fuel.
Passive fire Protection is the division of an area in smaller compartments in order to minimise or diminish the possibility of the spread of fire from one place to the other. A fire compartment can be the corridor in a floor or the stairways or a riser. If any service passes through a fire compartment (wall or floor), it is necessary for fire sealing that opening.
A certified , for example, fire sealing of an opening is the one that is manufactured and installed by a certified installer or contractor who employs competent personnel and follows such procedures during the installation which are subject to control and inspection by a recognised Third Party.
A certification company is the approved organization , which under EN ISO 17024 and UKAS in UK independently of the manufacturer, contractor , installer and user, ensures the quality and conformity of a product , system or installation to a standard.
In case of manufacturing , certification includes the following elements (as per Niall Rowan’s article : “ Third Way “ in Fire Risk Management Journal , issue Aug/Sept 2010 (FPA):
- The product testing method
- Assessment and surveillance of the production control system
- Audit method & procedures
- Traceability of the product through labelling
- Register the product through an approved and recognised public listing e.g. Certifire, BRE, ASFP, IFC Certification Ltd, etc.
In case of an installer or contractor, certification includes the following elements as per the same article:
- Verification of the skills and Training of both the management and installers
- Assessment of installers and supervisors for competence
- Use of certified materials or products or systems that have the appropriate fire performance
- Random inspection of sites to monitor the quality and performance of the work
- Issue of Certificated of Conformity for work completed
- Provision of an audit trail by a Third Party
The production method or the procedure for fire sealing of openings is described in the flow chart diagram below . It presents the various steps for sealing an opening indicating the stages where control is applied and the procedure is assessed to ensure the quality of work and effectiveness of the sealing.
The audit and the inspection of the work executed by a Third Party ensures the level of quality and effectiveness of the work executed by the certified installer or contractor. Furthermore, a certified installer and contractor have to demonstrate that they have the expertise, skills and commitments for a professional installation of fire sealing the openings.
The dilemma for an architect or an engineer of a building is either to accept a probable higher price by a certified or to decide a lower price by a non- certified installer or contractor . The decision lies on the personal evaluation of the competence level of installer or contractor by the architect or the engineer. But, can the latter ensure the quality and effectiveness of the sealing openings over time in the absence of controls by an independent approved Third organization?
That is doubtful. Only certified installers or contractors can minimise the risk and the responsibility undertaken by the architects or the engineers to ensure quality and effectiveness of the installed passive fire protection systems and fire safety in a building .
Sound is a pressure wave that can travel through liquids, solids and gases. The vibrations of a sound wave interact with your eardrums, which are then translated by your brain into sound. When a sound wave encounters any surface it interacts with it in three ways. It can transmit through the surface, it can be absorbed by the surface and it can be reflected by the surface. The specific levels of each interaction type depend on the material encountered. For instance, a solid surface such as concrete will absorb little of the sound and reflect most of it away.
To effectively control noise, it is important to understand the difference between sound absorption and sound insulation, as the two are often confused. Sound absorption relates to the amount of reverberation within a room and its effect on sound quality and intelligibility. Sound insulation, on the other hand, relates to the actual reduction in sound travelling from one area to another through a wall, floor or ceiling. Sound transmission in buildings results from both airborne and impact noise.
Sound absorption is when the sound strike the absorbent object and reflect, but the energy of reflection is reduced significantly.
The reduction factor can be from 1% (not effective) to 100% (very effective).
Materials and constructions made with foam, cloth, bass trap, pores like walls are capable of absorbing sound.
Sound insulation relates to the actual reduction in sound travelling from one area to another through a wall, floor or ceiling. Sound transmission in buildings results from both airborne and impact noise.