Fire Compartmentation Surveys

Fire compartmentation is the subdivision of buildings into manageable areas of risk, in order to prevent the spread of fire and smoke, and to provide adequate means of escape.

Fire Compartmentation Surveys

It is a requirement of the Fire Safety Order that the ‘responsible person’ ensures safe means of escape are available at all times. A fire risk assessment will typically not include an extensive assessment of fire compartmentation in out of the reach areas, for example above suspended ceilings. As such, a detailed compartmentation survey should be completed.

Ensuring appropriate fire separation throughout a building is one of the most effective, but often least considered, means of protecting premises and their occupants. Our team of experienced assessors can undertake non-invasive and where required, invasive, surveys to check not only that compartmentation exists but that it is suitable for the circumstances. To meet the legal requirements of the RRO, building owners and occupiers must ensure that the fire compartmentation in their buildings is robust and being adequately managed and maintained.

Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, organisations must ensure that the fire protection components within a building: “are subject to a suitable system of maintenance and are maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair.”

We can help you achieve passive fire protection compliance with a range of options. Our services span from formulating specifications at the design stage to on-site inspections at completion. In existing buildings we can assist with the creation of fire strategy drawings, or detailed on-site inspection of fire walls and fire doors.

A standard survey covers:

  • An inspection of the overall condition of the existing fire compartments.
  • An assessment of the condition and effectiveness of the sealing of wall/soffit interfaces.
  • An inspection of existing fire seals applied to service penetrations through fire compartment lines.
  • An assessment of the materials used to seal existing service penetrations/linear joints and in particular whether appropriate fire rated materials appear to have been used and whether they appear to have been applied/installed in an appropriate manner.
  • The presence of any damage to fire compartment lines that is likely to reduce the effectiveness of the fire compartment.
  • The presence of unprotected structural steelwork within fire compartments which may have an impact on the overall effectiveness of the expected fire performance of the building.
  • The presence of fire dampers within ducts passing through designated fire compartment lines. Where dampers are present an assessment of the positioning and fixing methods used was made. (See also Fire and Smoke Damper Surveys)
  • An assessment of the materials and methods used to construct any dry lined walls which form part of the fire compartmentation.
  • An assessment of any specific issues relating to the ability to reinstate fire compartmentation (the presence of items of equipment or services which may prevent access to the required area).

Oakleaf will provide an Excel defects schedule of the issues encountered during the survey. Usually these will be photographed and will be referenced to the CAD plan so their location can be found.