What is the purpose of Compartmentation?

Fire compartmentation is an important element of ‘passive fire protection’ and is achieved by dividing the premises into ‘fire compartments’ through the use of fire doors, floors and walls of fire-resisting construction, cavity barriers within roof voids and fire stopping to services that penetrate through these dividing elements.

Providing compartmentation to current Building Regulation and British Standards requirements:

  • Prevents the spread of fire, smoke and toxic gases
  • Subdivides buildings into manageable areas of risk
  • Provides adequate means of escape enabling time for the occupants to safely evacuate the premises.

The most common identified cause of death from a fire incident is being overcome by gas or smoke or toxic fumes. In 2011-12, fire and rescue services reported 380 fire related fatalities of which 130 people died because of this cause, accounting for 34% of all fatalities. A further 74 (19%) fatalities were attributed jointly to both burns and being overcome by gas or smoke.*

  • Where an escape route needs to be separated from the rest of the premises by fire-resisting construction e.g. a dead-end corridor or protected stairway the following compartmentation should be ensured:
  • Doors (including hatches to cupboards, ducts and vertical shafts linking floors), walls, floors and ceilings protecting escape routes should be capable of resisting the passage of smoke and fire for long enough to enable people to escape the building.
  • Where suspended or false ceilings are provided, the fire resistance should extend up to the floor slab level above.
  • Cavity barriers, fire stopping and dampers in ducts should be appropriately installed.

Panache Fire Service Ltd can ensure that your building has adequate compartmentation by completing a full compartmentation audit and where required undertaking necessary works including:

  • Installation of fire doors to BS 476 Part 22
  • Fire stopping to BS 476 Part 24
  • Fire compartmentation to BS9999

Call us today to discuss your requirements.

*Source- DLCG National Statistics Great Britain Fire Statistics 2011-12