What is Firestopping?

What is Firestopping? Firestopping is defined as “A Passive fire protection system installed to prevent the movement of flame or gases to other areas of a building through small concealed spaces in building components such as floors, walls, and stairs.”

What is a Firestop system? A specific field installation consisting of an assemblage and materials designed to prevent the spread of smoke through openings that are made in floors and walls to accommodate through-penetrating items such as electrical conduit, cable trays, and metal and plastic pipes, etc.

Typical UL Tested System

Typical UL Tested System

Three key components to determine proper installation:

1) Barrier construction and its hourly rating

2) Penetrating item – material and size

3) Annular space – space around the perimeter of the penetrating item and the barrier

What do the ratings, like “T” and “F” rating mean? An “F” rating is usually expressed in hours indicating a specific length of time that a fire-resistive barrier can withstand fire before being consumed or permits the passage of flame through an opening in the assembly. A “T” rating is usually expressed in hours indicating the length of time that the temperature on the non-fireside of a fire-rated assembly exceeds 325° F (162° C) above its ambient temperature.

What’s the difference between fire separation and firewall? A separation is a construction assembly that acts as a barrier against the spread of fire. A firewall is a type of separation of non-combustible construction that subdivides a building or separates adjoining buildings resist the spread of fire and that has a fire resistance rating.

What are approved methods? A term used in a broad manner to refer to through-penetration firestop systems, head of wall designs and edge of slab systems that have been tested and meet test criteria by an independently recognized laboratory. Additionally, an authority having jurisdiction may also make specific product evaluation and determine compliance with appropriate standards.