The LWF Blog
Passive Fire Protection for Building Professionals – Part 6February 27, 2020 9:27 am
In LWF’s blog series on passive fire protection for building professionals and contractors and those with an interest in structural fire protection issues, we aim to give an overview of the important role passive protection plays in the overall fire safety provision of a building. In part 5, LWF discussed third-party accredited products and contractors. In part 6, we will continue to look at third-party accreditation.
Ad-hoc spot checks on manufacturing processes and products or on installation standards, are one of the reasons third-party accreditation is given a position of trust in the fire safety industry. The checks are undertaken with the aim of achieving a consistently high standard of quality assurance. Without ongoing checks, all that would be established is that the product or service was being manufactured or fitted to a sufficiently high standard on the day of accreditation.
While there are various third-party accrediting organisations in the passive fire protection industry, one organisation is key – the Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP) (https://asfp.org.uk/).
The membership of the organisation is comprised of contractors who have already been third party accredited and are capable of undertaking third-party accredited installation and manufacturing in the passive fire protection industry. By becoming a member of the ASFP, such businesses and individuals can show their adherence to the high standards required technically, achieving accreditation while also contributing to the passive fire protection industry.
The ASFP provide resources to assist their membership in the form of guides and training videos available through their website which can assist in the installation of products along with explanations of the test regimes. The most well-known of these is the ‘Red Guide’ which deals with penetration seals.
It is important to check that passive fire protection products are manufactured by a third-party accredited manufacturer and installed by a third-party accredited contractor, approved for that particular set of products. For instance, it shouldn’t be assumed that a business that is accredited for the installation of fire doors would also be competent or accredited to install fire-stopping products.
It is further recommended that passive fire protection products are manufactured and installed by industry professionals who are ASFP members in preference to those who are not. ASFP members voluntarily commit to the additional diligence required by the association, which will help to achieve the highest levels of fire protection standards in the end product or installation.
The lack of third-party accreditation or association membership means that there is less potential for a guaranteed compliant product or installation.
In part 7 of this series, LWF will give an overview of fire doors and the importance of the role they play in passive fire protection provision.
In the meantime, if you have any queries about your own facilities or wish to discuss this blog series, please contact LWF on freephone 0800 410 1130.
Lawrence Webster Forrest are fire engineering and fire risk management consultants who have over 30 years’ experience in providing fire safety advice to Architects, Developers, Contractors and End User Clients.
While care has been taken to ensure that information contained in LWF’s publications is true and correct at the time of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of this information.