Assumptions You May Have about Your Building’s Firestop

Posted on: 13 October 2021

Fire prevention and safety is an important consideration for anyone responsible for managing commercial buildings. Otherwise, these buildings could face fines for building code violations as well as liabilities due to the risk of injury or death during a fire. Firestops are an important part of fire mitigation in modern commercial buildings, but it is easy to make some incorrect assumptions.

Assumption: A Firestop Will Be Impervious To Flames

Individuals will often be under the incorrect assumption that a firestop will be impervious to flames. In reality, these stops will gradually break down in response to intense heat and flame. However, a firestop can significantly slow the spread of flames so that the building can be evacuated and fire suppression systems can activate. In addition to slowing the spread of the flames, a firestop can also help to stop the toxic fumes and smoke that the fire is producing from spreading throughout the building. This can be essential for allowing individuals to safely evacuate as it could otherwise be possible for individuals to be overwhelmed with smoke in a matter of minutes.

Assumption: Firestops Are Only Needed If You Do Not Have A Sprinkler System

A fire sprinkler system can be an important tool for protecting your building against the risk of fire. However, you may still want a firestop in place even with a sprinkler system. In addition to likely being a requirement of the local building code, this protection can offer important benefits. For example, the firestop will prevent the smoke from the extinguished fire from seeking through the walls and floors, but it can also buy valuable evacuation time in the event that the fire sprinkler system fails to activate or is unable to extinguish the flames.

Assumption: Third Party Firestop Inspection Services Are Not Worth The Cost

Assessing the condition and quality of your building's firestop is an important step in determining whether fire safety upgrades are needed. Not surprisingly, most business leaders lack the ability to effectively assess the condition of a firestop. Luckily, there are third party firestop inspectors that you can hire to perform this type of assessment for your building. These services can offer a detailed report outlining the condition of the firestop and suggested improvements. If your building is going to undergo a fire safety inspection in the near future, these inspections can allow you to make any necessary changes or repairs to ensure that your building passes this inspection.