Proper fire safety, especially when it comes to the construction of a building, requires more than the right materials. You will encounter a lot of industry-specific terms when working with fire safety materials and practices, so it’s easy to get confused. Our guide below will introduce you to several essential fire safety terms you should know so that you can have a better understanding of how to keep buildings safe.
One of the key details to consider for any construction project is how flammable your materials are and how you can reduce their flammability. This is where the fire-resistance rating comes in handy. This is a measure of how long a fire-resistant material or construction can withstand a standard fire-resistance test.
This term describes how quickly a fire can expand over the surface of a material. A flame spread rating is a critical detail to know about any building materials. Suffice it to say that materials with a low flame spread rating are preferable in construction.
A key goal of fireproofing strategies is to reduce flame spread, which is possible thanks to the right coatings. There are key practices to follow when applying fire-retardant paint and using other safety materials because, with the right application, such materials can substantially reduce flame spread.
A fire barrier is a construction element designed to prevent the spread of fire within a building. They are essential components in the design of fire safety systems. The aforementioned fire-retardant paint can act as a strong fire barrier, as will gypsum and more materials.
Passive fire protection
Two of the most important types of fire protection technology to understand are active systems and passive systems. A passive system refers to the use of built-in fire protection methods in a structure that doesn’t require human intervention to work. This can include fire safety materials applied to the structure of the building, such as intumescent coatings, as well as compartmentation.
Active fire protection
As opposed to a passive system, active systems require some kind of action to work. Active fire protection systems fall under two categories—manual and automatic.
The manual category includes equipment such as fire extinguishers, which require someone to operate them manually when emergencies strike. An automatic system, such as a sprinkler system, will activate on its own during emergencies, requiring no human intervention to operate.
There are quite a few fire safety terms you should know, but, as you can see, each of these terms becomes much clearer when you learn the definition. Many of the terms may sound the same, but knowing how they fit into your overall fire safety strategy makes it easier to use them to your full advantage.
Whether you’re applying intumescent coatings to a building or learning how to operate fire safety equipment during an emergency, these terms are essential. Don’t hesitate to reach out to fire safety professionals if you have any questions or need further information.