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FAQ  

 

 


Q: What is firestop?
A: Firestop is a term used to describe the use of
building materials to prevent the spread of flames, smoke, or gases through
penetrations, gaps and joints in fire-rated floors, walls, and floor/ceiling
assemblies. 
Q: What is a firestop system?
A: Firestop systems are combinations of products
and materials, installed to a tested and rated specification, to prevent the
passage of fire, smoke and gases between compartments of a building.
Q: What is a containment/compartmented space?
A: Firestop systems were developed
to produce a containment/compartmented space, restricting fire, smoke and
gases from entering the protected area. These spaces are protected by
fire-rated wall and floor assemblies. All penetrations, gaps and joints in
the assembly are sealed with tested and listed firestop systems to return
the integrity to the rated wall or floor system.
Q: Do I really need firestop?
A: Any property owner or builder should be
concerned about liability issues relating to property damage, injury or
death by uncontained fire, smoke, and/or deadly gases. If the integrity of
fire-rated walls, ceilings, or floors is compromised by penetrations, then a
firestop system is required.
Q: I have a sprinkler system - Do I need a firestop system?
A: Sprinkler systems
are extremely important and are a key component of the "Life Safety System".
However, it is important to remember that sprinkler systems suppress rather
than contain fire.   Sprinklers are useless against smoke and deadly gases.
As nearly 70% of fire-related deaths are caused by smoke inhalation, the
need for a firestop system is even more critical.
Q: What types of firestop systems are there?
A: There are over 8,000 tested
systems. The type of system needed is determined by the location, substrate
and application (construction joint, plastic pipe, cable tray, grease duct,
etc.).  The U.L. Fire Resistive Directory is designed to list tested
systems, in an Alpha-Alpha-Numeric sequence for each typical building
service application.
Q: What is ASTM E-814?
A: It is the recognized industry standard that evaluates
through penetration firestop systems in fire-rated floor, wall, or
floor/ceiling assemblies. The test establishes ratings listed as "F", "T"
and "L" Ratings . The purpose of the test is to return the floor, wall or
floor/ceiling assembly to the original fire rating.
Q: What do the "F", "T" and "L" ratings mean?
A: An "F" Rating indicates the
amount of time that a firestop system can withstand fire before allowing the
passage of flame through an opening.  A "T" Rating indicates the amount of
time it takes the temperature on the non-fire side of the assembly to exceed
3,250 degrees Fahrenheit above ambient temperature.  An "L" Rating indicates
the amount of air leakage (in cubic feet per minute) through a penetration
(this is the industry's solution to "smoke sealing").
Q: What do the terms intumescent, endothermic and elastomeric mean?
A: An intumescent material, when exposed to heat, expands to fill a void. An
endothermic material blocks heat by chemical absorption and moisture
release. Elastomeric materials are flexible and allow movement of the
assembly while preventing the passage of fire, smoke and toxic gases.
Q: What does "approved methods" mean?
A: It is a term that refers to firestop
systems that have been tested by an independent laboratory (e.g.,
Underwriters Laboratory) that meet ASTM E 814 criteria.



 

 

 

 

 


     
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