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Home » Fire Compartmentation Surveys: 5 Reasons the Pros Are Worth It

Fire Compartmentation Surveys: 5 Reasons the Pros Are Worth It

A fire compartmentation survey is an important part of fire safety in any building. The purpose of a compartmentation survey is to ensure that the building is divided into separate fire compartments through the use of fire doors, fire dampers, fire curtains and fire-stopping. This compartmentation aims to contain any potential fire in the room or area where it starts and prevent both fire and smoke spreading to other parts of the building. Carrying out a thorough and compliant fire compartmentation survey requires expertise, which is why using a professional is highly recommended. Here are some key reasons why it is advisable to use a professional for a fire compartmentation survey:

Expert Knowledge of Regulations and Standards
A professional fire surveyor will have in-depth knowledge of the relevant regulations, codes and standards relating to fire compartmentation. This includes standards such as Approved Document B, BS9999 and BS7974 as well as understanding the requirements of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. A professional will understand exactly what is required for the building type and ensure compartmentation meets the appropriate criteria.

Technical Understanding of Building and Fire Safety
Professionals have the technical know-how regarding building design and construction in relation to fire safety. They understand how fire can spread through a building and the appropriate fire prevention and protection measures needed. They can assess if the existing compartmentation meets current standards and suggest any upgrades required. Their expertise ensures the most effective compartmentation solution is recommended for the specific building.

Experience Identifying Defects and Hazards
An experienced professional fire surveyor will have surveyed many buildings over their career. This allows them to quickly identify any defects, damage or hazards that could compromise compartmentation and put the building at risk. Minor issues such as cracks in walls or gaps around pipework may be missed by someone less experienced but could have a major impact on containing fire. A professional has the experience to spot these risks.

Understanding of All Types of Compartmentation
From fire doors, dampers and curtains to fire-stopping around penetrations, there are many types of compartmentation that a professional will thoroughly inspect and assess. They will understand where compartmentation is required, what types are most effective and whether what is in place meets the latest standards. Someone without the right level of experience may miss non-compliant compartmentation.

Testing and Inspection Expertise
Professionals will have the knowledge and equipment to properly test and inspect all aspects of compartmentation. This includes smoke testing of penetration seals, intumescent paint and fire dampers as well as inspection of fire doors for fit, self-closing mechanisms, intumescent strips and cold smoke seals. Proper testing is essential to identify any defects and ensure compartmentation works as intended in the event of a fire.

Compliance and Paperwork Knowledge
From the initial hazard identification and risk reviews to producing the required reports, paperwork and evidence of compliance, professionals understand the entire process to meet legal obligations and pass any fire authority audits. They ensure the survey meets the requirements of your insurer and that you gain certification for building control and fire brigade inspection.

Industry Contacts for Rectification Work
Should any remedial work be required following the survey, a professional can provide contacts for reliable contractors and tradespeople to quote and complete the compartmentation upgrades to the required standard. This saves you time sourcing reputable contacts yourself.

Protecting People and Property
Most importantly, using a professional helps ensure the compartmentation in place meets standards to protect people and property in the event of fire. With their expertise, they can identify risks you may miss yourself and recommend solutions to rectify any issues. Getting the survey right is critical for safety.

In summary, the depth of knowledge, experience, testing expertise and compliance understanding of professional fire surveyors makes them invaluable when carrying out fire compartmentation surveys. They provide the reassurance that your building meets the required standards and safety of occupants is protected. With something as critical as effective fire compartmentation, using a reputable professional is strongly advised.