Structural Fire Prevention
Keep a fire manageable
The importance of fire-resistant sealing when compartmentalizing
Perhaps you’ve heard of the ‘BIO’ (Dutch ‘structural, technical installation and organizational measures’ or foreign equivalent of that) in context to fireproof buildings? As a contractor, you are responsible for the implementation of structural fire safety measures. These measures are not very visible but are very important to help prevent or limit the spread of fire. We call this the ‘passive fire resistance of a building’ (not active, like a sprinkler system that only comes online in the event of a fire) and can easily be installed by HooVos. An example of a structural fire protection measure is the compartmentalization of a building.
Why we compartmentalize
With fire compartmentalization, a building is divided into 1 or more fire-resistant compartments. As a contractor, you must be able to demonstrate that the compartmentalization would work properly and that the facade, partition walls and floors meet the Dutch WBDBO requirement. WBDBO stands for Weerstand tegen BrandDoorslag en BrandOverslag which translates to Resistance Fire Bursts and Fire Spread. Our Building Decree states that the fire should be stopped 30, 60, 90 or 120 minutes, depending on the type of building and its function. It is very important that the joints and penetrations in the fire-separating walls or floors are properly sealed. Compartmentalization doesn’t just prevent the fire from spreading, it also prevents smoke and toxic gases to migrate to adjacent rooms. The fire therefore remains limited and manageable. In addition, compartmentalization ensures a safe escape route.
Structural fire prevention put into practice
Fire-resistant sealing by HooVos
When fire compartments are not properly sealed, flame retardancy won’t work properly. This could result in unsafe situations or even casualties. The building owner and contractor will also have to convince the insurer that fire protection was in order, which often leads to a legal tug of war. Often technical installations (plastic pipes, metal pipes, data cables, air ducts) run through fire partitions, like a fire-resistant shaft wall. When not properly sealed against fire, the fire (flames, smoke and heat) can spread through the joints and grommets. That is why it’s important to provide a suitable fire-resistant solution. HooVos has extensive experience in fire-resistant sealing.
Errors in the construction process
Passive fire resistance is often not a priority on building sites. We often hear, near the end of a project: “The installations are in place, now we have to start sealing”. Or fire-resistant products aren’t installed properly at all. How to adequately seal a fire-resistant wall if the wall itself is not satisfactory? You can’t… If a contractor were to consult HooVos in the design stage of the project, that would greatly improve fire safety.
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