How does a fire collar work?

Fire Collars are used to seal various types of plastic pipes and other services that penetrate a fire resisting barrier. Fire collars close in the event of a fire to prevent the spread of fire from one fire compartment to an adjoining fire compartment. The operating mechanism is an intumescent strip located around the inside perimeter of the fire collar. When exposed to fire the intumescent compound expands under heat to seal off the penetration.

What fire rating is required?

The level of fire rating is determined by the requirements of the Building Code of Australia (BCA) and depends on factors such as the Classification of the building and the Type of Construction that the building is to be built from.

What is a Construction Watch Brief?

A Construction Watch Brief is a “hands on” on site involvement with the project during the construction phase to ensure the builder and the subcontractors understand the fire rating requirements of the project and the correct fire systems are installed as per the manufacturers’ requirements and tested systems.

A Construction Watch Brief helps establish and maintain the required installation standards and workmanship as the project progresses through regular site visits and auditing procedures.

By incorporating Construction Watch Briefs into a project it can save time and money by ensuring last minute delays are not encountered by avoiding costly rectifications of non-compliant systems.

What is an FRL?

FRL is an abbreviation for Fire Resistance Level. A passive fire system’s FRL represents the grading in minutes for Structural Adequacy/Integrity/Insulation that has been determined by a NATA approved fire test on a particular system in accordance with AS1530.4. eg 120/120/120. An FRL is also often loosely referred to as a fire rating.

What is Intumescent?

Intumescent means the ability of a product to swell up and expand when heated. In the event of a fire an intumescent product will expand into a charred mass that protects the material underneath it or fill a gap that contained a combustible material such as a plastic pipe.

Typical intumescent products are found in fire collars, fire wraps, intumescent mastic seals and intumescent coatings.

What is the difference between a fire barrier and a smoke barrier?

A Fire Barrier is a barrier designed and constructed in accordance with the requirements of the Building Code of Australia (BCA) to prevent the spread of fire from one fire compartment to an adjoining fire compartment. A fire resisting barrier has an FRL that will contain the fire within its compartment of origin for the required amount of time to allow the occupants of the building to exit in a safe manner and allow the fire brigade sufficient time to safely contain the fire and prevent its spread to adjoining compartments or other property.

Smoke Barriers are generally found in Class 9a health care buildings and Class 9c aged care buildings and are constructed from non-combustible materials and designed to prevent the free passage of smoke through the barrier.

What is the difference between Passive Fire Protection and Active Fire Protection?

Passive Fire Protection Systems are a system of fire protection methods that operate in the event of a fire without requiring power or water as the operating mechanism. Passive fire protection systems include service penetration seals, fire dampers and fire sprayed treatments.

Active Fire Protection Systems require power and water to operate and include sprinklers, detectors and alarms operating together as part of an integrated system.

What is Vermiculite?

Vermiculite is a mineral used in the fire protection industry that comes from places such as South Africa and northern Australia. It is flaky in its natural form but expands and exfoliates when heated. It is non-combustible and has a melting point of around 1300oC. Vermiculite is commonly used in fire rated boards, fire sprays and the internal cores of fire doors. It is also a popular horticultural product due to being pH neutral and its high water containing ability.