Section 10: Protection of openings and fire-stopping

10.1Sections 8 and 9 make provisions for fire-separating elements and set out the circumstances in which there may be openings in them. This section deals with the protection of openings in such elements.

10.2If a fire-separating element is to be effective, every joint or imperfection of fit, or opening to allow services to pass through the element, should be adequately protected by sealing or fire-stopping so that the fire resistance of the element is not impaired.

10.3 The measures in this Section are intended to delay the passage of fire. They generally have the additional benefit of retarding smoke spread, but the tests specified in Appendix A for integrity does not directly stipulate criteria for the passage of smoke.

10.4Detailed guidance on door openings and fire doors is given in Appendix B.

  1. Openings for pipes
    1. Alternative A: Proprietary seals (any pipe diameter)
      1. Alternative B: Pipes with a restricted diameter
        1. Alternative C: Sleeving
        2. Ventilation ducts, flues etc.
          1. Fire dampers
            1. Flues, etc.
              1. Fire-stopping

                Openings for pipes

                10.5Pipes which pass through a fire-separating element (unless the pipe is in a protected shaft), should meet the appropriate provisions in alternatives A, B or C below.

                Alternative A: Proprietary seals (any pipe diameter)

                10.6Provide a proprietary sealing system which has been shown by test to maintain the fire resistance of the wall, floor or cavity barrier.

                Alternative B: Pipes with a restricted diameter

                10.7Where a proprietary sealing system is not used, fire-stopping may be used around the pipe, keeping the opening as small as possible. The nominal internal diameter of the pipe should not be more than the relevant dimension given in Table 14.

                The diameters given in Table 14 for pipes of specification (b) used in situation (2) assumes that the pipes are part of an above ground drainage system and are enclosed as shown in Diagram 38 if they are not, the smaller diameter given for situation (3) should be used.

                Alternative C: Sleeving

                Table 14

                10.8A pipe of lead, aluminium, aluminium alloy, fibre-cement or uPVC, with a maximum nominal internal diameter of 160mm, may be used with a sleeving of non-combustible pipe as shown in Diagram 37. The specification for non-combustible and uPVC pipes is given in the notes to Table 14

                Ventilation ducts, flues etc.

                10.9Where air handling ducts pass through fire separating elements the integrity of those elements should be maintained.

                There are three basic methods and these are:

                • Method 1 Protection using fire dampers;
                • Method 2 Protection using fire-resisting enclosures;
                • Method 3 Protection using fire-resisting ductwork.

                10.10Method 1 is not suitable for extract ductwork serving kitchens. This is due to the likely build up of grease within the duct which can adversely affect the effectiveness of any dampers.

                Further information on fire-resisting ductwork is given in the ASFP Blue Book: Fire resistng ductwork (ISBN: 1 87040 926 4) published by the Association for Specialist Fire Protection and freely available from the ASFP website at www.asfp.org.uk.

                Fire dampers

                10.11Fire dampers should be situated within the thickness of the fire-separating elements and be securely fixed. It is also necessary to ensure that, in a fire, expansion of the ductwork would not push the fire damper through the structure.

                10.12Adequate means of access should be provided to allow inspection, testing and maintenance of both the fire damper and its actuating mechanism.

                10.13Where the use of the building involves a sleeping risk, such as an hotel or residential care home, fire dampers should be actuated by smoke detector-controlled automatic release mechanisms, in addition to being actuated by thermally actuated devices.

                However, in a situation where all occupants of the building can be expected to make an unaided escape and an L1 fire alarm system is installed in accordance with BS 5839-1:2002, the following exceptions may be made:

                • aIf, on the detection of smoke, the alarm system signals the immediate evacuation of all the occupants of the building, then fire/smoke dampers are not needed; and
                • bIf the building is divided into fire compartments and the alarm system is arranged to signal the immediate evacuation of the occupants of the fire compartment in which the fire has been detected, then smoke detector operated fire/smoke dampers need only be provided where ductwork enters or leaves the fire compartment.

                Notes:Fire dampers actuated only by fusible links are not suitable for protecting escape routes. However an ES classified fire and smoke damper which is activated by a suitable fire detection system may be used. See paragraph 10.15.

                10.14Further guidance on the design and installation of mechanical ventilation and air- conditioning plant is given in BS 5720:1979 on ventilation and air-conditioning ductwork in BS 5588-9:1999.

                Further information on fire and smoke-resisting dampers is given in the ASFP Grey Book: Fire and smoke resiting dampers' (ISBN: 1 87040 924 8) published by the Association for Specialist Fire Protection and freely available from the ASFP website at www.asfp.org.uk.

                10.15Fire dampers should be tested to BS EN 1366-2:1999 and be classified to BS EN 13501-3:2005. They should have an E classification equal to, or greater than, 60 minutes. Fire and smoke dampers should also be tested to BS EN 1366-2:1999 and be classified to BS EN 13501-3. They should have an ES classification equal to, or greater than, 60 minutes.

                Notes:Fire dampers tested using ad-hoc procedures based on BS 476 may only be appropriate for fan-off situations. In all cases, fire dampers should be installed as tested.
                Paragraphs 5.46 and 8.40 also deal with ventilation and air-conditioning ducts.

                Flues, etc.

                10.16If a flue, or duct containing flues or appliance ventilation duct(s), passes through a compartment wall or compartment floor, or is built into a compartment wall, each wall of the flue or duct should have a fire resistance of at least half that of the wall or floor in order to prevent the by-passing of the compartmentation (see Diagram 39).

                Fire-stopping

                Diagram 38

                10.17In addition to any other provisions in this document for fire-stopping:

                • ajoints between fire-separating elements should be fire-stopped; and
                • ball openings for pipes, ducts, conduits or cables to pass through any part of a fire- separating element should be:
                  • ikept as few in number as possible; and
                  • iikept as small as practicable; and
                  • iiifire-stopped (which in the case of a pipe or duct, should allow thermal movement).

                10.18To prevent displacement, materials used for fire-stopping should be reinforced with (or supported by) materials of limited combustibility in the following circumstances:

                • ain all cases where the unsupported span is greater than 100mm; and
                • bin any other case where non-rigid materials are used (unless they have been shown to be satisfactory by test).

                10.19Proprietary fire-stopping and sealing systems (including those designed for service penetrations) which have been shown by test to maintain the fire resistance of the wall or other element, are available and may be used.

                Other fire-stopping materials include:

                • cement mortar;
                • gypsum-based plaster;
                • cement-based or gypsum-based vermiculite/ perlite mixes;
                • glass fibre, crushed rock, blast furnace slag or ceramic-based products (with or without

                resin binders); and

                • intumescent mastics.

                These may be used in situations appropriate to the particular material. Not all of them will be suitable in every situation.

                Guidance on the process of design, installation and maintenance of passive fire protection is available in Ensuring best practice for passive fire protection in buildings (ISBN: 1 87040 919 1) produced by the Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP).

                Further information on the generic types of systems available, information about their suitability for different applications and guidance on test methods is given in the ASFP Red Book: Fire Stopping and Penetration Seals for the Construction Industry - the 'Red Book' (ISBN: 1 87040 923 X) published by the Association for Specialist Fire Protection and freely available from the ASFP website at www.asfp.org.uk.

                • 1 Gallery floors with no alternative exit Diagram 1 Gallery floors with no alternative exit
                • 2 Flat where all habitable rooms have direct access to an entrance hall Diagram 2 Flat where all habitable rooms have direct access to an entrance hall
                • 3 Flat with restricted travel distance from furthest point to entrance Diagram 3 Flat with restricted travel distance from furthest point to entrance
                • 4 Flat with an alternative exit but where all habitable rooms have no direct acess to an entrance hall Diagram 4 Flat with an alternative exit but where all habitable rooms have no direct access to an entrance hall
                • 5 Multi-storey flat with alternative exits from each habitable room except at entrance level 5 Multi-storey flat with alternative exits from each habitable room except at entrance level
                • 6 Multi-storey flat with protected entrance hall and landing Diagram 6 Multi-storey flat with protected entrance hall and landing
                • 7 Flats served by one common stair,png Diagram 7 Flats served by one common stair
                • 8 Flats served by more than one common stair 8 Flats served by more than one common stair
                • 9 Common escape route in small single stair building Diagram 9 Common escape route in small single stair building
                • 10 Travel distance in dead-end condition 10 Travel distance in dead-end condition
                • 11 Alternative escape routes 11 Alternative escape routes
                • 12 Inner room and access room 12 Inner room and access room
                • 13 Exits in a central core Diagram 13 Exits in a central core
                • 14 Open Connections Diagram 14 Open Connections
                • 15 Merging flows at final exit Diagram 15 Merging flows at final exit
                • 16 Subdivision of corridors Diagram 16 Subdivision of corridors
                • 17 Dead-end corridors Diagram 17 Dead-end corridors
                • 18 Maximum travel distances in a small two or three storey premises with a single protected stair to each storey Diagram 18 Maximum travel distances in a small two or three storey premises with a single protected stair to each storey
                • 19 Progressive horizontal evacuation in care homes Diagram 19 Progressive horizontal evacuation in care homes
                • 20 Refuge formed by compartmentation Diagram 20 Refuge formed by compartmentation
                • 21 Refuge formed in a protected stairway Diagram 21 Refuge formed in a protected stairway
                • 22 Max travel distance in a small three storey premises with a single stair to each storey Diagram 22 Max travel distance in a small three storey premises with a single stair to each storey
                • 23 Max travel distance in a small two storey premises with a single open stair Diagram 23 Max travel distance in a small two storey premises with a single open stair
                • 24 External protection to protected stairways Diagram 24 External protection to protected stairways
                • 25 Fire resistance of areas adjacent to external stairs 25 Fire resistance of areas adjacent to external stairs
                • 26 Lighting diffuser in relation to ceiling Diagram 26 Lighting diffuser in relation to ceiling
                • 27 Layout restrictions on Class 3 plastic roofflights TP-b rooflights and TP b lighting diffusers Diagram 27 Layout restrictions on Class 3 plastic rooflights TP-b rooflights and TP b lighting diffusers
                • 27a Layout restrictions on small Class 3 plastic rooflights TP b rooflights and lighting diffusers Diagram 27a Layout restrictions on small Class 3 plastic rooflights TP b rooflights and lighting diffusers
                • 28 Compartment floors illustration of guidance in paragraph 8.16 Diagram 28 Compartment floors illustration of guidance in paragraph 8.16
                • 29 Compartment walls and compartment floors with reference to relevant paragraphs in Section 8 Diagram 29 Compartment walls and compartment floors with reference to relevant paragraphs in Section 8
                • 30 Junction of compartment wall with roof Diagram 30 Junction of compartment wall with roof
                • 31 Protected shafts Diagram 31 Protected shafts
                • 32 Uninsulated glazed screen separating protected shaft from lobby or corridor Diagram 32 Uninsulated glazed screen separating protected shaft from lobby or corridor
                • 33 Provisions for cavity barriers Diagram 33 Provisions for cavity barriers
                • 34 Cavity wall excluded from provisions for cavity barriers Diagram 34 Cavity wall excluded from provisions for cavity barriers
                • 35 Fire-resisting ceiling below concealed space Diagram 35 Fire-resisting ceiling below concealed space
                • 36 Provisions for cavity barriers in double-skinned insulated roof sheeting Diagram 36 Provisions for cavity barriers in double-skinned insulated roof sheeting
                • 37 Pipes penetrating structure Diagram 37 Pipes penetrating structure
                • 38 Enclosure for drainage or water supply pipes Diagram 38 Enclosure for drainage or water supply pipes
                • 39 Flues penetrating compartment walls or floors Diagram 39 Flues penetrating compartment walls or floors
                • 40 Provisions for external surfaces or walls Diagram 40 Provisions for external surfaces or walls
                • 41 Relevant boundary Diagram 41 Relevant boundary
                • 42 Notional boundary Diagram 42 Notional boundary
                • 43 Status of combustible surface material as unprotected area Diagram 43 Status of combustible surface material as unprotected area
                • 44 Unprotected areas which may be disregarded in assessing the separation distance from the boundary Diagram 44 Unprotected areas which may be disregarded in assessing the separation distance from the boundary
                • 45 The effect of a canopy on separation distance Diagram 45 The effect of a canopy on separation distance
                • 46 Permitted unprotected areas in small residential buildings Diagram 46 Permitted unprotected areas in small residential buildings
                • 47 Limitations on spacing and size of plastic rooflights having a Class 3 or Class D-s3 d2 or TP b lower surface Diagram 47 Limitations on spacing and size of plastic rooflights having a Class 3 or Class D-s3 d2 or TP b lower surface
                • 48 Example of building footprint and perimeter Diagram 48 Example of building footprint and perimeter
                • 49 Relationship between buildings and hardstanding access roads for high reach fire appliances Diagram 49 Relationship between buildings and hardstanding access roads for high reach fire appliances
                • 50 Turning facilities Diagram 50 Turning facilities
                • 51 Provision of firefighting shafts Diagram 51 Provision of firefighting shafts
                • 52 Components of a firefighting shaft Diagram 52 Components of a firefighting shaft
                • 53 Fire-resisting construction for smoke outlet shafts Diagram 53 Fire-resisting construction for smoke outlet shafts
                • C1 Measurement of door width Diagram C1 Measurement of door width
                • C2 Cubic capacity Diagram C2 Cubic capacity
                • C3 Area Diagram C3 Area
                • C4 Height of building Diagram C4 Height of building
                • C5 Number of storeys Diagram C5 Number of storeys
                • C6 Height of top storey in buildingC6 Height of top storey in building Diagram C6 Height of top storey in building
                • C7 Free area of smoke ventilators Diagram C7 Free area of smoke ventilators
                • D1 Classification of Purpose Groups Diagram D1 Classification of Purpose Groups
                • E1 Recessed car parking areas Diagram E1 Recessed car parking areas
                • Table 1 Limitations on distance of travel in common areas of blocks of flats - see par 2.23 Table 1 Limitations on distance of travel in common areas of blocks of flats - see par 2.23
                • Table 2 Limitations on travel distance Table 2 Limitations on travel distance
                • Table 3 Minimum number of escape routes and exits from a room tier or storey Table 3 Minimum number of escape routes and exits from a room tier or storey
                • Table 4 Widths of escape routes and exits Table 4 Widths of escape routes and exits
                • Table 5 Maximum distances of travel in small premises with a protected stair Table 5 Maximum distances of travel in small premises with a protected stair
                • Table 6 Minimum widths of escape stairs Table 6 Minimum widths of escape stairs
                • Table 7 Capacity of a stair for basements and for simultaneous evacuation of the building Table 7 Capacity of a stair for basements and for simultaneous evacuation of the building
                • Table 8 Minimum width of stairs designed for phased evacuation Table 8 Minimum width of stairs designed for phased evacuation
                • Table 9 Provisions for escape lighting Table 9 Provisions for escape lighting
                • Table 10 Classification of linings Table 10 Classification of linings
                • Table 11 Limitations applied to thermoplastic rooflights and lighting diffusers in suspended ceilings and Class 3 plastic rooflights Table 11 Limitations applied to thermoplastic rooflights and lighting diffusers in suspended ceilings and Class 3 plastic rooflights
                • Table 12 Maximum dimensions of building or compartment - non-residential buildings Table 12 Maximum dimensions of building or compartment - non-residential buildings
                • Table 13 Maximum dimensions of cavities in non-domestic buildings - purpose Groups 2-7 Table 13 Maximum dimensions of cavities in non-domestic buildings - purpose Groups 2-7
                • Table 14 Maximum nominal internal diameter of pipes passing through a compartment wall-floor - see par 10.5 onwards Table 14 Maximum nominal internal diameter of pipes passing through a compartment wall-floor - see par 10.5 onwards
                • Table 15 Permitted unprotected areas in small buildings or compartments Table 15 Permitted unprotected areas in small buildings or compartments
                • Table 16 Limitations on roof coverings Table 16 Limitations on roof coverings
                • Table 17 Class 3 or Class D-s3 d2 plastic rooflights limitations on use and boundary distance Table 17 Class 3 or Class D-s3 d2 plastic rooflights limitations on use and boundary distance
                • Table 18 TP a and TP b plastic rooflights limitations on use and boundary distance Table 18 TP a and TP b plastic rooflights limitations on use and boundary distance
                • Table 19 Fire and rescue service vehicle access to buildings excluding blocks of flats not fitted with fire mains Table 19 Fire and rescue service vehicle access to buildings excluding blocks of flats not fitted with fire mains
                • Table 20 Typical fire and rescue service vehicle access route specification Table 20 Typical fire and rescue service vehicle access route specification
                • Table A1 Specific provisions of test for fire resistance of elements of structure etc Table A1 Specific provisions of test for fire resistance of elements of structure etc
                • Table A1 continued Table A1 continued
                • Table A2 Minimum periods of fire resistance Table A2 Minimum periods of fire resistance
                • Table A3 Limitations on fire-protecting suspended ceilings - see Table A1 Note 4 Table A3 Limitations on fire-protecting suspended ceilings (see Table A1 Note 4)
                • Table A4 Limitations on the use of uninsulated glazed elements on escape routes Table A4 Limitations on the use of uninsulated glazed elements on escape routes]
                • Table A5 Notional designations of roof coverings Table A5 Notional designations of roof coverings
                • Table A6 Use and definitions of non-combustible materials Table A6 Use and definitions of non-combustible materials
                • Table A7 Use and definitions of materials of limited combustibility Table A7 Use and definitions of materials of limited combustibility
                • Table A8 Typical performance rating of some generic materials and products Table A8 Typical performance rating of some generic materials and products
                • Table B1 Provisions for fire doors Table B1 Provisions for fire doors
                • Table C1 Floor space factors Table C1 Floor space factors
                • Table D1 Classification of Purpose Groups Table D1 Classification of Purpose Groups
                • Table Maximum dimensions of building or compartment - non-residential buildings Table Maximum dimensions of building or compartment (non-residential buildings)