What is Passive Fire Protection?

Passive fire protection is an essential element of a building’s construction. It takes many forms, from fire doors to external cladding and internal installation of fire stopping measures. We’ve compiled this article to explain the concept in further detail, including what is the purpose of passive fire precautions.

In essence, passive fire protection prevents or slows the spread of fire and smoke through a building. It’s present in buildings throughout almost all sectors of the construction industry, such as health care settings, high and low-rise residential sites, industrial buildings and many more.

Passive fire protection ensures that, in the event of a fire, enough time is allowed for the evacuation of occupants and for emergency services to do their job as safely as possible. It’s part of how a building is constructed, so most passive fire protection goes unseen. It’s found behind walls, above ceilings and within riser cupboards.

Passive fire protection differs from active fire protection, such as fire alarms and extinguishers, as it requires no physical interaction once installed to perform as required. It includes but is not limited to:

Passive fire protection separates a building into fire compartments, each of which helps to keep fire and smoke contained for a certain period. In turn, this helps to minimise the risk to property and people.

As fire regulations change, some older buildings will need adjustments made to ensure they remain compliant. At Adaston, we provide complete surveys of current passive fire protection installed in a building. Once the survey is complete, our expert installation team is on hand to assist with any and all remediation work required.

Our case study on an occupied apartment complex shows how beneficial and straightforward it is to increase fire protection measures, ensuring the safety of everyone living there.

What is the purpose of passive fire precautions?

Now we’ve covered what passive fire protection is, let’s explore what is the purpose of passive fire precautions. In essence, it saves lives and property. Passive fire protection is essential to ensure a building performs as expected in the event of a fire, buying time for people to evacuate and for emergency services to extinguish the fire.

Without adequately installed passive fire protection, fire and smoke can rapidly spread through a building. It places occupants’ lives at risk and doesn’t safeguard the building against collapse.

Naturally, another benefit is minimising any financial losses from a fire. By limiting the spread of fire and reinforcing vital structural elements, it helps to maintain the structural integrity of a building. It reduces the chance of collapse and protects any contents inside.

It should also be noted that correctly installed passive fire protection is commonly a core requirement of a building’s insurance coverage. Without it, you could be at severe financial risk if claiming against a fire. You need to provide evidence of correctly installed passive fire protection, which we can supply at Adaston.


When covering the subject of what is passive fire protection, it comes down to a structural level. Fundamentally, passive fire protection is a vital element of a building’s make up, designed to separate a building into individual compartments.

In doing so, it reduces or halts the spread of flames and smoke in the event of a fire, ensuring adequate time for occupants to escape and for emergency services to access the scene and extinguish the fire as safely as possible. Correctly installed passive fire protection will actively save lives, protect property and minimise financial losses.

Please contact us if you’ve got any questions about what is passive fire protection or to discuss how Adaston can help with installation and maintenance.

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.

Get in Touch Below

    Or complete the form below.

    Published on: