What is fire stopping?

Fire stopping is an essential fire-prevention technique to stop a fire from spreading throughout a building. It involves the sealing of gaps or other openings through which fire, smoke and heat could pass through (either vertically or laterally). It is vital that the correct fire stopping methods are installed to prevent a fire from escalating.

Fire stopping prevents fire from spreading by creating fire resisting compartments that subdivide a building either vertically or horizontally. This ensures that a fire is contained within a compartment. For the fire to be contained however, any openings or gaps must be correctly sealed and fire-resistant walls and floors installed. Gaps must also be sealed between fire resisting constructions, i.e. gaps between walls and the floors above them. This ensures that a substantial barrier is constructed.

Types of fire stops

RES Fire Protection Engineers use various types of fire stopping methods, including:

Fire sleeves

A fire sleeve is intended to seal an aperture that has been created by electrical cabling or pipes passing through a fire-rated wall, ceiling or floor. If a fire breaks out and heat spreads, the sleeve opens out and expands to fill any gaps. If plastic pipes pass through a wall and a fire sleeve is installed near them, the sleeve will seal off the pipe by crushing it, preventing smoke and fire from passing through.

Fire collars

Fire collars cover pipes with flame retardant compounds that expand to stop the fire from reaching the pipes and potentially spreading to other areas.

Fire covers 

Fire covers are designed to cover indoor luminaires. If a fire breaks out, the cover expands to fill space with a high level of insulation that is fire-resistant.

Gap fillers and fire sealants

These products expand upon contact with high heat or fire, and work to seal gaps and prevent the spreading of smoke and flame. Different sealants can be used for different purposes.

Why do fire stopping methods need to be used?

In order to keep the occupants of a building safe, it is important that a building has the proper fire stopping methods installed to prevent fire spread. RES is FIRAS certified for penetration sealing systems.

Fire stopping methods can save lives if implemented correctly. Every building layout is different, therefore different fire stopping methods will be required. A successful fire stopping system works when all fire stop products are working together to prevent fire from spreading. If one product fails, the rest of the system could fail. RES Fire Protection Engineers offer expert fire stopping services and advice as part of our Passive Fire Protection solutions to ensure that building gaps and voids are correctly sealed and fire resistant. We can advise on the correct fire stopping solutions for your premises. We cover the South of England including London, Berkshire, Bracknell, Windsor, Middlesex & Surrey, Oxfordshire, Hampshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Essex & Kent, West & East Sussex, Reading, Maidenhead, Slough, Newbury and the surrounding areas.