Passive Fire Protection Products the Unsung Heroes of Fire Protection

Fire extinguisher inspection checklist

Though the number of house fires in the U.S. is still startlingly high, there are about 240,000 less fires each year than there were 30 years ago thanks to the advancements of passive fire protection systems.

According to the fire protection handbook, there are two different kinds of fire suppression systems: active and passive. Active fire protection products are anything that work to extinguish the fire, like a sprinkler system or a fire extinguisher, while passive fire protection equipment limits the spread of fire, restricting it to one area.

There are several benefits of passive fire protection systems. Firstly, they slow the fire down, which gives the structure’s occupants more time to evacuate to a safe area. Secondly, they limit the amount of damage done to property by ensuring that it doesn’t spread.

What’s interesting is that the most common way passive fire protection systems are incorporated into a structure is through the choice of building materials. Drywall and concrete are two of the most widely used passive fire protection materials. Drywall contains a plaster called gypsum, which will release water vapor when it’s exposed to extreme temperatures because of its high water content. This water vapor will naturally impede the rate at which it burns. Concrete, on the other hand, simply doesn’t burn, clearly making it a passive fire protection material.

In addition to the choice of building material, structures can also have passive fire suppression products like fire dampers, fire doors, and fire stops. Fire dampers are used in HVAC systems to keep smoke and fire out; fire doors keep fires from spreading between rooms; and fire stops are seals put around ducts, wall joints, doors, and ceilings that will swell to exponentially larger sizes when exposed to extreme temperatures.

Passive fire suppression systems are the unseen, unsung heroes of fire protection. By impeding the rate at which fires spread, these products save countless lives every year. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments. Read this for more:

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