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What Is a Fire Compartmentation Survey and Do I Need One?

Between 2022 and 2023, there were 7,649 workplace fires, the majority of which were caused by faulty appliances and leads. In fact, 1,774 of these originated in industrial premises, making it the most common sector for fire outbreaks.

If your compartmentation is not up to code, you could be risking lives and facing legal action. In this article, we discuss the importance of fire compartmentation surveys and why you need one, including:

  1. What is the main objective of fire compartmentation?
  2. What is a fire compartmentation survey?
  3. Is fire compartmentation a legal requirement?
  4. How long does a fire compartmentation survey last?
  5. Who can carry out a fire compartmentation survey?
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What Is the Main Objective of Fire Compartmentation?

The main objective of fire compartmentation is to slow the spread of fire and smoke throughout a building by containing the fire within a series of designated building areas (compartments). In high risk buildings, such as those housing hazardous materials, it also stops detrimental explosions before a fire can reach these areas.

For example, if a kitchen fire breaks out, the correct wall and door structure can reduce the spread of said fire in some cases up to 4 hours. As such, people have more time to safely evacuate and the fire service can protect the rest of the building.

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What Is a Fire Compartmentation Survey?

A fire compartmentation survey is a review of all lines of compartmentation within a given building, which ensures they are constructed in a way to grant the required fire rating, identified within a buildings fire strategy document. The findings of a compartmentation survey will report on all found areas of non-conformance where firestopping has either not been installed as required or is defective.

Our survey is comprised of:

  • A complete review of all lines of compartmentation (including all penetration seals and fire doors)
  • Detailed report of all non-conformances, including:
    • Pin-point locations
    • Material details
    • Dimensions
    • Relevant breaches of legislation
    • Proposed routes of remediation
    • Access levels
    • Proposed quote for repair
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Is Fire Compartmentation a Legal Requirement?

A fire compartmentation survey is not a legal requirement. However, it is a legal requirement to ensure general fire compartmentation and undertake an annual fire risk assessment. This can then prompt further investigation of your PFP or fire doors by way of a fire compartmentation survey.

This is mandated by the Building Regulations 2010 and the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. If you do not seek these surveys regularly, you may face implications as stipulated by the law.

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How Long Does a Fire Compartmentation Survey Last?

Fire compartmentation surveys do not have a general time limit. In fact, our surveys are completely bespoke to your needs. This includes the size of your building and scope of the survey, including sample areas, full survey visual or a full survey with intrusive testing.

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Who Can Carry Out a Fire Compartmentation Survey?

Only a ‘competent person’ can conduct a fire compartmentation survey. For example, a qualified individual or team with extensive knowledge of fire safety, building construction and fire stopping methods. This is followed by several years of experience or mentorship (if they are in a junior role) that provide the ability to identify risks and suggest remedial actions.

As such, we recommend entrusting us with your survey. Adaston’s mission is to protect your property and those who both live and work within them, no matter the type. We are accredited with a variety of safety organisations which proves our expertise, including:

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Save Lives with Adaston’s Fire Compartmentation Survey

If your fire risk assessment has found compartmentation problems, Adaston can help. We will provide a detailed report with remedial recommendations, ensuring a safe building for everyone and legal compliance. We can undertake any remediation required, including fire door maintenance, penetration sealing and emergencies.

Our team is composed of accredited fire safety experts who are ready to inspect your fire compartmentation. Contact Adaston today with any questions or to schedule your fire compartmentation survey.

Written by

Nic Bohanna Linkedin

Nic is the Key Client Manager at Adaston with a degree from the prestigious Durham University. With a background in management in the service industry, he now ensures all our passive fire protection services run smoothly. When he’s not at work, you’ll find him pursuing his favourite activities of hill walking, a game of golf, or enjoying a nice cold pint.

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