FireStop is an important part of any building or construction project, yet it is also often misunderstood. Its name might lead you to think that it is simply fireproofing, but it is a bit more complicated. Read on to better understand what FireStop is and what it isn’t so you can better understand what your building needs to have in terms of fire code.
Is It Fireproofing?
FireStop is a part of any good Fireproofing plan, but it is not in itself technically Fireproofing. The material we call Fireproofing is a cement-based (usually), spray-on material that gets added to the underside of steel decks and to steel beams. Often this is a grayish, rough textured finish that completely coats the steel, though newer technology has produced Fireproofing that is white and fluffy, closer to a paint that expands when heated. Either way, the point of Fireproofing is to insulate the steel structures of the building and prevent them from warping due to the heat of a fire. This is not what FireStop does.
Then What Is It?
FireStop, on the other hand, is a material that preserves the fire rating of walls and floors once joints and penetrations are added. When a building is constructed, the walls and floors have fire ratings of 1-4, which corresponds to the number of hours it would take a fire that started on one side to reach the other side. Different buildings will have different required fire ratings, depending on their use, however, once you make a hole in the wall for any reason, that fire rating goes out the window. There are many legitimate reasons to put a hole in a fire-rated wall, including running utility cables and pipes. FireStop is installed in the hole around those cables or pipes to fill in the gaps and restore the fire rating.
Why Is It Necessary?
FireStop is necessary because your building needs to be up to code. These codes differ regionally (since there are national, state, and local codes to follow), but they always require some degree of fire ratings for some of your walls. The technology of today, however, demands that we run wires through those walls (as well as pipes for water and sewage), so FireStop helps reconcile those needs.
Get FireStop for Your Building with G&M Services
G&M Services is proud of our employees and the dedication they have for safety in the workplace. We reward our employees for displaying positive safety practices. We incorporate weekly and monthly discussions and meetings to ensure that all involved are aware of how to handle equipment and potential situations that could occur during a project.
G&M Services offers services in the way of concrete drilling and sawing, concrete scanning, and Firestop. To get started with us, call today at 410-787-8828 or visit our contact page. Follow the official company page today on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.