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How Does Firestop Protect Commercial Businesses?

firestop installation

Firestop is a critical part of your fire protection system.

You’ve devoted untold time and energy to building your business, so it makes sense that you want to do everything you can to protect it. These days, much of our protective energy goes to digital threats. There are still plenty of physical threats to a business to be concerned about, however, and one of the most preventable is a building fire. Your building should have both passive and active fire protection systems. The active systems are things like sprinklers that try to put out the fire. The passive system is the fire walls, doors, and dampers that slow or stop the spread of the fire. Firestop is a critical part of your fire protection system. 

What is Firestop?

Firestop is the material used to seal any openings or penetrations in the fire barriers in your commercial building. Every commercial building has fire barriers, such as firewalls and fire doors, that prevent the spread of fire. Standard walls with typical insulation will not contain fire or any smoke or toxic fumes. Many buildings also have fire barriers in the flooring between levels so that fire and smoke don’t travel upwards through the high-rise building. There are many reasons that your fire barriers may have penetrations, however. Plumbing, electrical wiring, and ethernet cables all have to run between the different spaces in your building and it is impossible to avoid the fire barriers. When these utilities go through the firewalls or floor, Firestop seals the hole around them. 

Issues with Firestop

The most significant issues with Firestop come from incorrect firestop installation. When it is not installed correctly, it doesn’t fix the breach in your firewalls. Similarly, for continued firestop safety, you must make sure that your Firestop is installed as soon as possible after the breach in the fire barrier is created. In the meantime, the hole in your fire barrier represents a breach in your protection since fire and smoke can easily pass through to other spaces in your building.

Firestopping Regulations

The NFPA, or National Fire Protection Agency, regulates the installation and upkeep of fire barriers. They specify that fire barriers must be continuous in a building from outside wall to outside wall or from fire barrier wall to fire barrier wall. This means that any gaps or missing sections and fire barriers must create a complete compartment. If there are gaps, they need to be adequately repaired with the correct UL system and fire-stopping. Finally, Firestop that is used to plug holes and cracks in the fire barrier must have the same fire-resistive rating as the barrier it is being used in. 

Revitalize Your Business 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 know how to handle equipment and potentially risky situations during a project. We offer 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.