Passive fire protection

Passive Fire Protection concept on the other hand as the name implies, will not intervene with a fire when it happens but rather work in silence at reducing fuel load; compartmentalization as in confinement of fire origin; mitigation of fire propagation; smoke management; safe egress, etc. Passive Fire protection systems and products will not react to any fire incident.

They will:

  • Prevent furniture/interior finishes from burning; prevent ignition;
  • Slow the rate of flame spread;
  • Confine a fire in a compartment; prevent fire spreading from one compartment to another;
  • Provide safe egress route;
  • Facilitate smoke management; provide access yet maintaining integrity of compartmentalization ;
  • Reducing combustibility of burning materials;
  • Provide safe evacuation path

Grenfell Tower disaster lessons learnt reflect on the importance of non-combustible insulation as cladding materials for highrise buildings. Though polyethylene is able to achieve high k value for conservation of energy as non-combustible insulation materials, it burns easily, ferociously and allow fire to spread rapidly through vertical and horizontal surfaces. Since cladding are installed externally, there is no fire detection and alarm system to warn occupants of an outbreak of fire, nor is there a fire suppression system to control ad extinguish the fire. Due to the nature of the material, polyethylene fire generates large fire size with high heat intensity within very short duration. It also resulted in abnormal fire propagation in storey height making it very difficult for firefighters to reach, control and extinguished it. Conventional fire hose flow rate and pressure may also not be able to cope with the high heat flux generated. Falling cladding debris also present danger on the ground for firefighters and pedestrians and make external rescue impossible.

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