In simple terms Fire Compartmentation is a tool that is used in the vast majority of buildings, other than simple low rise developments, and is often referred to in many different ways: fire walls (and floors); fire separation; protected corridors / stairs etc.
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The awful events at Grenfell tower in June 2017 belatedly and tragically bought the importance of Fire compartmentation to most peoples attention, and it therefore resonances with people across all types and sectors, and is therefore a vital part of any fire safety design.
In simple terms Fire Compartmentation is a tool that is used in the vast majority of buildings, other than simple low rise developments, and is often referred to in many different ways: fire walls (and floors); fire separation; protected corridors / stairs etc. Each of these terms has the same meaning.
Compartmentation in basic format the division of a building into separate cells, utilising construction materials , that given period of time will prevent the passage of any fire from one cell to another. By far the most common visual identification feature of compartmentation that you will use and see on a day to day basis is a fire door. It’s a fact we find that the majority of building users, and critically owners/managers, often forget that the surrounding construction must also be fire rated.
The primary consideration of Fire Compartmentation is usually the protection of the means of escape from the building. In many buildings, often but not exclusively older buildings, there is often little or no other fire separation other than the means of escape. e.g. – a simple office building, served by a single stair. The floor area could also be open plan, with no partitions, however, the stair will be enclosed by fire walls (and fire doors) to guarantee a fire within any part of the accommodation cannot pass into the stair. As buildings become larger or more complex, the objectives and reliance on fire compartmentation is usually increased.