What is the Difference Between Passive and Active Fire?

We mainly talk about active and passive fire in terms of fire protection. The difference is in how these methods prevent a fire from spreading.

In short, passive protection is part of the construction of a building intended to prevent the spread of fire and smoke. Active protection relates to elements which actively aim to combat the fire and aid in escape, such as alarms, extinguishers, sprinkler systems as so forth.

Understanding the difference between active and passive fire protection is key to understanding the requirements of any given building.

Active Vs Passive Fire Protection

There are regulations in place to protect people and property from fires, particularly for places of work. All buildings need a combination of passive and active fire protection measures in place. One method isn’t in place of the other, they both work together in harmony to offer maximum protection.

Passive protection is a fundamental part of the construction of a building. It aims to compartmentalise fire rather than letting it spread. It takes many shapes, including the installation of fire doors and other fire stopping devices, such as penetration seals, fire stop details and cladding.

Active fire protection is put in place to detect a fire, try to stop it and give people time to escape when it’s started. This includes sprinkler systems, smoke alarms and fire extinguishers. The ultimate aim is to get people safely out of the building, combat fire where possible, and allow emergency services to take over.

Fire Protection in Your Building

All buildings will have some level of passive fire protection installed. The key point is if the measures are installed correctly. At Adaston, we’re leading providers and inspectors of fire stopping installations specifically designed to help protect your property and people.

From reviewing your current installed passive fire protection to consulting on the requirements for a new building project, we offer top quality services across all sectors.

It’s crucial to use a third party accredited contractor like Adaston for all your fire protection needs to ensure fire stopping details are properly installed and fully compliant. While we hope you never encounter a fire, it’s better to be prepared and protected for any eventuality.

Maintaining Fire Protection

Once you’ve got your active and passive fire protection systems in place, regular inspection and maintenance is necessary to ensure they’re working effectively. A poorly maintained system is only as effective as the weakest element after all.

Regular checks by a qualified and suitable party will ensure installations remain compliant. Adaston can assist with all elements of survey and consultancy to ensure your building remains at the correct standard. From a building management standpoint, simple measures such as testing your fire alarms each week and keeping staff fire training up to date as well as performing fire drills are easy ways to save lives in the future.

In Summary

Active and passive fire protection systems are both equally important to have in place. They not only protect people and property, but they’re also a legal requirement.

If you’re wanting further assistance, contact us today where our professional and friendly team can discuss all your fire protection needs.

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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