Glossary of Firestop Terms
by William J. McHugh, Jr.
Containing the spread of fire between floors of a structure requires various firestopping materials to seal different types of openings.
Picture Courtesy of Specified Technologies Inc.
Some firestop materials form a char with thermal insulation characteristics, which helps fill voids when exposed to heat.
AUTHORITY HAVING JURISDICTION:
ASTM E 814:
ASTM E 84:
FORMING MATERIALS: Materials used under or beside a firestop system to either hold the system in place during application, improve fire resistance, or both. Mineral wool, ceramic fiber and other materials are used. Consult the manufacturers specific tested system data for type, thickness and density of material allowed.
F RATING: A rating usually expressed in hours indicating a specific length of time that a fire-resistive barrier can withstand fire before being consumed or before permitting the passage of flame through an opening in the assembly.
T RATING: A rating usually expressed in hours indicating the length of time that the temperature on the non-fire side of a fire-rated assembly does not exceed 325F above ambient temperature.
L RATING: Amount of air leakage through a penetration, measured in cubic feet per minute. The test is administered at ambient and 400F for validity due to variances in per- formance of firestop systems at different temperatures.
INTUMESCENCE: A characteristic of certain fire barrier products that, when exposed to heat, expands to fill a void in the penetration caused by the deformation or combustion of the through penetrating item. When exposed to heat, intumescent materials expand at various rates to form a hard char to seal voids and provide hourly rated protection.
LATEX: A water emulsion of a synthetic rubber material that is manufactured into a sealant.
NFPA: National Fire Protection Association, based in Quincy, Mass., author of The Life Safety Code.
RESTRICTING COLLAR: A metal device supplied by the firestop system manufacturer to mount firestop from the outside or underside of a penetration.
SLEEVES: Sleeves, as required, must be part of the tested system or approved for use by the manufacturer of the firestop system.
THROUGH PENETRATION FIRESTOP SYSTEM: "A specific field-erected construction consisting of an assemblage of materials to prevent the spread of fire through openings made in floors or walls to accommodate through penetrating items, (i.e. pipes, electrical conduits, blanks, etc.) using ASTM E 814 (Test Standard UL 1479) as the test method.
Z-CLIPS: Z-shaped clips that support a firestop wrap strip material in a firestop system, sometimes without mineral wool forming.
PULLOUT STRENGTH: Firestop systems
that need to be fastened to walls and floors will specify a fastener pullout
strength minimum value. Additionally, there are require- ments for the
type of fastener, usually carbon or stainless-steel. Lead, alu- minum
and others may melt and not function properly in fire conditions.
BUILDING SEPARATION WALL
The following are additional terms defined by the International Building Code.
BUILDING SEPARATION WALL: A fire-resistance rated wall, having protected openings, which restricts the spread of fire and extends continuously from the foundation to or through the roof.
DRAFT STOP: A material, device or construction installed to restrict the movement of air within open spaces of concealed areas of building components such as crawl spaces, floor- ceiling assemblies, and roof-ceiling assemblies and attics.
FIREBLOCKING: Building materials installed to resist the free passage of flame and gasses to other areas of the building through small concealed spaces.
FIRE AREA: The aggregate floor area enclosed and bounded by building separation walls, fire barrier walls, exterior walls or fire-resis- tance rated horizontal assemblies of a building.
FIRE BARRIER WALL: A fire- resistance rated assembly of materials having protected openings which is designed to restrict the spread of fire.
FIRE DAMPER: A device, installed in an air distribution system, designed to close automatically upon detection of heat, to interrupt migratory airflow, and to restrict the passage of flame. A combination fire and smoke damper meets the requirement of both.
FIRE DOOR ASSEMBLY: Any combination of a fire door, frame, hardware, and other accessories that together provide a specific degree of fire protection to the opening.
FIRE DOOR: The door component of a fire door assembly.
FIRE PARTITION: A vertical assembly of materials having protected openings and designed to restrict the spread of fire.
FIRE RESISTANCE: That property of materials or their assemblies which prevents or retards the passage of excessive heat, hot gases or flames under conditions of use.
FIRE RESISTANCE RATING: The period of time
a building or building component maintains the ability to confine a fire
or continues to perform a given structural function or both, as determined
by tests prescribed in Section 703;
MEMBRANE PENETRATION FIRESTOP: A material, device or construction installed to resist, for a prescribed time period, the passage of flame, heat, and hot gases through openings in a protective membrane in order to accommodate cables, cable trays, conduit, tubing, or pipes.
PENETRATION FIRESTOP: A though-penetration firestop or a membrane penetration firestop.
SELF-CLOSING: As applied to a fire door or other opening, means equipped with an approved device that will ensure closing after having been opened.
SHAFT: An enclosed space extending through one or more stories of a building, connecting vertical openings in successive floors, or floors and roof.
FIRE RESISTIVE JOINT SYSTEM: An assemblage of specific materials or products that are designed, tested and fire rated in accordance with ASTM E 119 to resist, for a prescribed period of time, the spread of fire through joints made in or between fire rated assemblies.
FIRE SEPARATION DISTANCE: The distance in feet measured from the building face to the closest interior lot line, to the centerline of a street, alley or public way, or to an imaginary line between two buildings on the property.
FIRE SEPARATION WALL: See fire barrier wall. Transitional term replaced by fire barrier wall.
FIRE WALL: See building separation wall. Traditional term replaced by building separation wall
SMOKE BARRIER: A smoke barrier consists of walls, partitions, floors and openings therein as will prevent the transmission of smoke or gases through the construction.
SMOKE COMPARTMENT: A smoke compartment is a space within a building enclosed by smoke barriers on all sides, top and bottom.
SPLICE: The result of a factory and/or field method of joining or connecting two or more lengths of a fire-resistive joint system into a continuous entity.
FIRE WINDOW: A window constructed and glazed to give protection against the passage of fire.
JOINT: The linear opening in or between adjacent fire-resistance rated assemblies that is designed to allow independent movement of the building, in any plane, caused by thermal, seismic, wind loading or any other loading.
THROUGH-PENETRATION: An opening that passes through an entire assembly.
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