In a battle against fire, every second counts. That’s especially true if openings exist between adjacent rooms or floors within a building, such as those made to accommodate pipe, conduit, ducts and cables. Such pathways for voice, data, video, power, plumbing and ventilation can quickly become pathways for fire.
The good news is, it doesn’t take much to inhibit the spread of fire before it begins. For approximately 1/100th of the cost of constructing a building, you can install a building-wide Nelson Firestop Systems. Should a fire ever break out, that small investment will help contain it. The spreading that could occur in minutes will be delayed for hours giving fire-fighting personnel the critical time they need to extinguish the blaze, avert devastation and, in some cases, save lives.
That’s what firestopping should do. What it will do, however, depends on whether or not you have the right products in the right places. No one ever intentionally creates a poor firestop installation, but the selection process frequently yields an incorrect seal.
Solving a complex problem.
Making the right firestopping choice for a wall or floor penetration is not a simple matter. There is far more to the decision than the size of the hole. Establishing a reliable firestop seal depends on no less than eleven criteria:
- Type of barrier being penetrated (wall or floor)
- Thickness of barrier
- Barrier construction (masonry or gypsum)
- Fire rating of barrier (1, 2, 3 or 4-hour)
- Type of penetrating item (pipe, cable, conduit, etc.)
- Construction of penetrating item (plastic, steel, copper, etc.)
- Size of penetrating item, and how many of each
- Type and thickness of insulation (if any)
- Shape of opening
- Size of opening
- Annular space between penetrating item and inside wall of penetration