Protección pasiva contra incendios

Fire-Proofing protection comprises all materials, systems and techniques designed to prevent the outbreak of fire, to prevent or delay its spread and to facilitate its extinction.

This Fire proofing protection will guarantee both the contents and the building of a construction, as well as the property and the safety of people.

Basically, it encompasses the set of construction elements and special products designed to prevent the outbreak of fire, contain its spread, prevent the flames from affecting the building structure, and at the same time facilitate the evacuation of individuals.

The constructive measures therefore have the task of:

  • Stop the spread of flames and the progression of smoke.
  • To stop the thermal effects in the affected area.
  • To preserve the stability of the structural elements in the face of fire.

Passive protection does not require the intervention of people or external means. Its purpose is to minimize human and material losses, and it is aimed at assisting in evacuation tasks, as well as facilitating the work of emergency teams.

The existing regulations for Fire proofing protection are very strict. Firstly, the products used for this purpose must prove their effectiveness through a series of tests carried out in accredited laboratories.

 These elements must pass reaction, luminescence, resistance and stability tests. In the event that the result is optimal, these products can be installed, and for this a series of factors such as thicknesses or supports, among other things, must be assessed.

A. Essential details in Fire proofing protection

Fire proofing protection systems must include a few details, including:

1. Compartmentation

This is also known as sectorization measures and refers to the different measures adopted with the intention of closing off the fire so that it does not spread to adjoining spaces.

In this section it is important to include enclosures and sealing to help contain the flames. For enclosures, fire resistant boards and panels should be used, while the purpose of sealing is to prevent high temperatures and flammable gases from spreading through openings, cables or pipes.

2. Structural protection

This deals with all measures that are necessary to ensure that the structure of buildings can withstand fire. The aim is to prevent the building from collapsing and to improve its stability in the event of fire.

3. Fireproofing treatments

The definition of fireproof material is attributed to that which protects against fire because it cannot burn or because it burns with great difficulty. At ALFRAN we are manufacturers and installers of this type of material. Among them is our lightweight cementitious mortar, FIRE IND, mainly installed in refineries and petrochemical plants with high resistance to hydrocarbon fire that complies with the standards for the EU: EN13381 Warrington and passed UL 1709 certification tests.

Fireproofing is a technique designed to improve the flame resistance of different materials. By means of this system, a flammable element is treated with a flame-retardant additive at the time of manufacture. It is designed so that plastics, textiles, and wood are able to offer a better response to a fire.

As far as possible, non-combustible materials should be used, with a high melting point, a low smoke emission coefficient, and if they enter combustion, they cannot release toxic substances.

4. Controlled ventilation

Controlled ventilation can assist in limiting the spread of fire and smoke. With the correct ventilation system, it will be easier to keep escape routes and stairways clear of smoke should it be necessary for people to leave.

B. The main advantages of Fire proofing protection

Fire proofing protection is a great solution for dealing with fires inside a building. The benefits include the following:

  • It remains integrated into the construction process; it is not something that is added over time.
  • It has no moving parts, which usually present a greater risk.
  • The devices it has are not connected to any facility.
  • They are totally independent, so they will require less maintenance.
  • When a fire incident occurs, the risk of failure is quite low.

C. Differentiating between passive and active fire protection

Both systems aim to protect against fire, although they operate in completely different ways. Active fire protection is an extinguishing method that consists of installations and all kinds of tools to extinguish the flames once a fire has broken out. These tools include fire extinguishers, alarms, sprinklers, and fire hydrants, among others.

Passive protection, on the other hand, consists of a prevention method that is made up of materials with a certain resistance to high temperatures, which are intended to contain the deterioration of a construction when a fire occurs.