What is the Purpose of a Firestop?

Fire stopping is essential to limit the spread of fire and smoke in a building. They tend to get used where there are gaps, such as blank openings, joints between walls, ceilings, or even between cables and pipes. In Canada, fire stop systems are available with different options. Most modern fire stops use an intumescent, which swells and then self-insulates when exposed to heat. Fire stops are seen as passive, meaning they do not need any human intervention or power when installed. It makes it easier to ensure that buildings are as safe as possible.

About Fire Stop Listings

The easiest and most common way to ensure a fire stop meets all your testing requirements would be to implement a listing. A listing is a confirmation of testing by a third party, and it’s an excellent way to evaluate the system and find out what fire rating you have achieved. Canadian building codes do not require a listing; they only state that you must have a specific test done. That said, if you follow a listing, this is one of the best and easiest ways to show that you have met the requirements for testing.

red door with fire behind
stopwatch with fire behind
Fire rating chart

Different Fire Stop Ratings

There are various ratings regarding fire stops, and they are assigned a duration based on testing criteria. If you want to find out more, see which ratings are available below.

F Rating

With an F rating, the fire stop will remain in place for the duration and does not allow flames to pass through.

FT Rating

If you have this rating, you will meet the specifications listed above. Still, you will also be able to limit the temperature rise on the other side of the fire stop.

You can come across FTH or FH ratings, but according to Canadian code, these are not required. The H indicates that the fire stop has passed the hose-streaming test. L ratings can also be applied, which shows whether there is air leakage.

What Rating do you Need?

The rating you need to aim for will ultimately depend on where you intend to use it. Please refer to the building code and reference table 3.1.8.4 to find out more. You can find a link to the Canadian building code here.

What Should You Be Thinking About When Installing a Fire Stop System?

Suppose you want to get a fire stop installed. In that case, you must ensure that the person taking care of it is competent and that they are also working strictly with the manufacturer’s instructions. When installing a fire stop, consider what product is specified. Remember that every fire stop has requirements and cannot get interchanged. It even applies to products that the same manufacturer has made. Of course, every situation will require a unique system, even if they look similar in practice. You must consider whether you have a wall or ceiling assembly and if you are working with concrete, steel, or wood studs. Penetrations such as copper pipe, PVC, steel, and more must also be considered.

Other Considerations

You also must consider if you need any other products or caulking material. Mineral wool is often required as an insulating material or as a forming material. It’s also important to consider the fire-stopping material. More is not always better in many cases, as it could change how the product cures if there is a fire. Ideally, you must ensure that the penetrations are 90° in the floor-to-wall assembly unless you are working with angled penetrations, which are allowed via the listing.

Of course, if you want to find out more about fire stopping or what you can do to try and make the most out of your building safety, then the first thing that you need to do is contact us today. You can get in touch with us at 780-721-3405.

CONTACT US

Walser Contracting Ltd.
Concrete Cutting & Coring Services
15C Alberta Ave, PO Box 3816,
Spruce Grove, AB T7X 3B1

Monday to Friday: 6:30am to 4:00

Call: 780-721-3405
Email: [email protected]

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