What is Passive Fire Protection?
Passive Fire Protection (PFP) is a key component of structural fire protection and fire safety in buildings.
Passive Fire Protection attempts to contain fires, or stop the spread, through the use of fire-resistant walls, floors, and doors, among other features. These fire-resistant systems help compartmentalise a building into smaller sections which helps to slow or prevent the spread of fire/smoke from one room to the next. Passive Fire Protection greatly improves fire safety in a building as it helps to limit the amount of damage and provides the occupants more time to evacuate. PFP needs to be differentiated from its counterpart: Active Fire Protection (AFP).
What is Active Fire Protection?
Active Fire Protection (AFP) is another key component of fire safety in buildings.
Active Fire Protection is a group of systems that require a level of action or motion in order to work efficiently in the case of a fire. These actions may be manually operated like a fire extinguisher, or automatic like a sprinkler. AFP includes smoke alarms, sprinkler systems, and fire extinguishers, as well as the firefighters themselves, who together actively help to put out the fire.
Why Passive Fire Protection is Crucial
Both an Active Fire Protection system and a Passive Fire Protection system are vital to contain and stop the spread of fires.
An Active Fire Protection system takes action in helping to put out the fire, but may not always function the way they are designed to. Sprinklers can fail due to water supply problems or even inadequate water pressure. Extinguishers rely on human beings to operate them, which in the middle of a fire situation can be extremely dangerous for those not trained as firefighters.
On the other hand, Passive Fire Protection uses structural systems that don’t rely on activation from either technology or a human being. PFP uses systems to help control and prevent the spread of fire and smoke and does not rely on any type of action.
Both active and passive fire protection systems work together to control fires.