active vs. passive fire rating solutions
The fundamental purpose of fire protection systems whether they are classed as active or passive is twofold. The first is to prevent the passage and spread of smoke and fire from one area of the building to another, and in doing so allow for the safe escape of the building occupants.
The second is to reduce the amount of damage the fire causes to the building structure and neighbouring structures. This then resultantly reduces the risk emergency crews face from structure collapse and once put out, reduces the cost of rectification to the building.
Active Fire Protection Systems
Active fire protection systems are classified as those systems which seek to extinguish the fire through:
- Detecting the fire early and evacuating the building.
- Alerting emergency services at an early stage.
- Controlling the movement of smoke and fire.
- Suppress and/or starve the fire of oxygen and fuel.
Active systems include suppression, fire alarms, extinguishers, water sprinkler systems and extractor ventilation.
Passive Fire Protection Systems
Conversely, passive fire protection systems are those solutions that seek to contain the fire by:
- Delaying the growth of the fire.
- Using fire rated partitions and doors to prevent the fire and smoke from moving from one compartment to another.
- Delaying the collapse of the building structure with fire rated structural columns, so fire services can safely move throughout the building to extinguish the flames.
Passive fire protection systems include fire rated doors, fire collars, barriers, ceilings and structural fire protection such as fire sprays and thin film intumescents. If you require further information or clarification of terms, please click here for our Fire Rating Gloassry.
Both active and passive fire rating systems have advantages over the other. In some cases one option may prove to be more beneficial, or of no use at all. Remedial Building Services Australia are qualified to provide you with assistance to determine the needs for your structure, new or existing.