Passive Fire Protection Glossary

Here are some of the most commonly used passive fire protection terms.

Our Know-How, see also: Fire Protection Handbook   Technical Guides  Watch & Learn   FAQs


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A

A

Active fire protection: method(s) used to reduce or prevent he spread and effects of fire), heat or smoke by virtue of detection and/or suppression of the fire and which require a certain amount of motion and/or response to be activated

Air transfer grille: A device which allows the passage of ventilation air in normal conditions through a fire door, wall or partition; but, closes automatically to prevent the passage of fire in a fire condition for a stipulated time period.

Automatic fire and smoke damper: A device which allows the passage of ventilation air in normal conditions through a duct, fire wall or partition; but closes automatically to prevent the passage of smoke and fire in a fire condition for a stipulated period of time. Response to smoke is typically achieved by linking to the automatic fire detection system.

Availabe safe escape time (ASET): calculated time interval between the time of ignition and the time at which conditions become such that the occupant is estimated to be incapacitated, i.e. unable to take effective action to escape to a safe refuge or place of safety

Back to the top

B

B

Backdraft: rapid flaming combustion caused by the sudden introduction of air into a confined oxygen-deficient space that contains hot products of incomplete combustion

Building hardware (ironmongery): Fittings designed for incorporation in a fire-resisting doorset and which contribute to ensure that the fire-resisting door (when closed) resists the passage of fire and/or gaseous products of combustion. Such fittings include hinges, pivots, door closing devices, latches, locks, and door furniture (lever handles, knobs).

Building Information Modelling (BIM): a process involving the generation and management of digital representations of physical and functional characteristics of places.

Back to the top

C

C

Cavity barrier: A construction provided to close a concealed space against the penetration of smoke and flame or to restrict the movement of smoke or flame within such a space, for a stipulated time period.

CE marking: Marking of a construction product under the Construction Products Regulation. If the intended use, the characteristics and the performance of the product is defined by a harmonised European product standard (hEN), then CE marking is mandatory. If it is defined by a European Assessment Documents then it is voluntary.

Combustibility: This assesses whether a material has the propensity to burn. Non-combustible materials are usually highly inert.

Compartment (fire): A building or part of a building, comprising one or more rooms, spaces or storeys, constructed to prevent the spread of fire to or from another part of the same building, or an adjoining building. The basis of compartmentation is to subdivide buildings into areas of manageable risk, to provide adequate means of escape, and to provide fire separation for adjoining buildings.

Back to the top

D

D

Design fire: aquantitative description of assumed fire characteristics within the design fire scenario

Design fire scenario: aspecific fire scenario on which a deterministic fire safety engineering analysis will be conducted

Drywall: A generic term used to describe a range of metal and timber framed assemblies clad with gypsum plaster-board and other board materials for standard dry lining, partitions and ceilings which involve little or no wet operations.

Back to the top

E

E

Evacuation time: thetime interval between the time of a warning of fire  being transmitted to the occupants and the time at which the occupants of a specified part of a building or all of the building are able to enter a place of safety.

European Technical Assessment (ETA): Favourable technical assessment of the fitness for use of a product for an intended use, based on the fulfilment of the Essential Requirements for building works for which the product is used. An ETA can be issued on the basis of a European Assessment Document (EAD).

European Assessment Document (EAD): Document used as the basis for preparing ETAs, which contains specific requirements for the products within the meaning of the Basic Works Requirements, the test procedures, the methods of assessing and judging the results of the tests, the inspection and conformity procedures, written by EOTA (the European Organisation for Technical Approvals) on the basis of a mandate received from the Commission.

Back to the top

F

F

Fire damper: A device which allows the passage of ventilation air in normal conditions through a duct, wall or partition; but, closes automatically to prevent the passage of fire in a fire condition for a stipulated time period.

Fire door (assembly): A door or shutter, provided for the passage of persons, air or objects, which together with its frame and furniture as installed in a building, is intended, when closed, to resist the passage of fire and/or gaseous products of combustion, and is capable of meeting specified performance criteria to those ends. 

Fire effluent: all the gases and aerosols, including suspended particles, created by combustion or pyrolysis and emitted to the environment.

Fire load: a quantity of heat which could be released by the complete combustion of all the combustible materials in a volume, including the facings of all bounding surfaces.

Fire resistance: theability of a test specimen to withstand fire or give protection from it for a period of time.

Fire-resisting composite panel: A fully bonded steel faced panel with mineral fibre or other non-combustible core which is used for cladding external walls of steel building structures to form a separating element from one building to another; and, for high risk areas within buildings to form a separating element. It is designed to restrict the spread of fire from the compartment or building of origin for a stipulated period of time.

Fire-resisting doorset: A complete installed door assembly comprising door frame, door leaves, other panels, building hardware, seals and any glazing that, when closed, is intended to resist the passage of fire and smoke in accordance with specified performance criteria. (ASDMA guide). Fire-resisting ductwork: Ventilation or extraction ductwork designed to contain fire and the products of combustion in a manner that does not allow passage to other parts of the building from the compartment of origin for a stipulated time period.

Fire-resisting glass: A glass that demonstrates its ability to meet the defined heating and pressure conditions specified in EN 1363-1 fire resistance test (or any other national or international fire resistance test method). Typically, the glass will be clear, textured, toughened, laminated or wired and may incorporate special features such as coatings or laminations that enable the glass to achieve a particular fire performance in terms of integrity and insulation.

Fire-resisting glazed screen: Glazed structure or window incorporating fire-resisting glass and designed to resist the spread of fire and the gaseous products of combustion for a stipulated period of time.

Fire-resisting partition: An internal non load bearing vertical dividing structure designed to resist the spread of fire, heat, and the products of combustion for a stipulated period of time. Such a partition can include a glazed section or a fire door.

Fire-resisting suspended ceiling: A suspended ceiling designed to contribute to the overall fire resistance of a floor assembly or to prevent the collapse of steel beams supporting a floor or roof, for a stipulated period of time. It may also provide fire resistance as a membrane in the same way as a partition.

Fire safety engineering: The application of scientific and engineering principles, rules (codes), and expert judgement, based on an understanding of the phenomena and effects of fire and of the reaction and behaviour of people to fire, to protect people, property and the environment from the destructive effects of fire.

Fire scenario: a qualitative description of the course of a fire with respect to time, identifying key events that characterize the studied fire and differentiate it from other possible fires

Fire separating element: A compartment wall, compartment floor, cavity barrier and construction enclosing a protected escape route and/or a place of special fire hazard.

Fire shutters: These can be collectively defined with fire-resisting doors as a door, or shutter, provided for the passage of persons, air or objects, which together with its frame and furniture as installed in a building, is intended (when closed) to resist the passage of fire and/or gaseous products of combustion, and is capable of meeting specified performance criteria to those ends.

Fire stopping: Sealing products that take up imperfections of fit or design tolerance between the fire-resisting fixed elements of a building to restrict the passage of fire and smoke. They continue to take up the imperfections of fit at all times and have the same fire rating as the fixed elements of which they form a part. In reaction to a fire condition they swell, spread or deform to achieve their performance.

Flashover: the transition to a state of total surface involvement in a fire of combustible materials within an enclosure

Fusible link: Device installed local to the door or shutter which will fracture at a specified temperature to release a door closing mechanism.

Back to the top

H

H

Heat release: the thermal energy produced by combustion

Back to the top

I

I

incapacitation: thestate of physical inability to accomplish a specific task

insulation criterion “I” (“I” criterion): the criterion by which thermal insulation is assessed.

integrity criterion “E” (“E” criterion):the criterion by which the ability of a separating element to prevent the passage of flames and hot gases is assessed

 

Back to the top

L

L

Load-bearing criterion “R” (load-bearing capacity): the criterion by which the ability of a building element or structure to sustain an imposed load when exposed to fire is assessed.

Back to the top

M

M

Means of escape: the structural means whereby routes intended to be safe are provided for persons to travel from any point in a built environment to a place of safety

 

Back to the top

P

P

Passive fire protection: the method used to reduce or prevent the spread and effects of fire, heat or smoke by means of design and/or the appropriate use of materials and not requiring detection and/or activation upon detection.

Penetration seal: Products that maintain the integrity and insulation (if required) of fire-resisting separating elements where services pass through the element. They are designed to allow for any movement and to close any opening that may be expected to occur in a fire situation. For the purpose of this document penetration seals have been included under fire stopping products. Protected shaft: A shaft which enables persons, air or objects to pass from one compartment to another, and which is enclosed in fire-resisting construction.

Performance-based design: a design that is engineered to achieve specified objectives and performance criteria

Pyrolysis: the chemical decomposition of a substance by the action of heat

Back to the top

R

R

Reaction to fire: This is the extent to which a product burns and contributes to the development of a fire. Reaction to fire tests evaluate properties including: ignitability, flame spread, rate of heat release, production of smoke and toxic gases.

Required safe escape time (RSET): the calculated time period required for an individual occupant to travel from their location at the time of ignition to a safe refuge or place of safety.

Back to the top

S

S

Structural fire protection: Products used to insulate the structural frame of a building or other construction to allow it to retain its required load bearing strength or limit the core temperature for a stipulated period of time.

Back to the top

T

T

Temperature-time curve: the time-related variation of temperature prescribed in a specified way during a standard fire resistance test.

Tenability: the capability to occupy a compartment without becoming incapacitated or killed as a result of a fire or to perform cognitive and motor-skill functions at an acceptable level when exposed to a fire environment

Thermal insulation: the ability of a separating element, when exposed to fire on one side, to restrict the transmission of heat.

Back to the top

V

V

Validation: the process of determining the degree to which a calculation method is an accurate representation of the real world, or of a specific fire test, from the perspective of the intended uses of the calculation method.

Back to the top

Promat Support

Promat Support

Need help to find what you’re looking for?

Contact your local Promat Fire Safety Expert to find the best solution to meet your legal fire protection requirements.

Promat Technical Support

Contact our technical support team with your questions on passive fire protection solutions, our products and systems or installation advice...

Technical Documentation

Find the product datasheets, system brochures, Declarations of Performance, installation manuals and other documents you need to get the job done. 

60 Years of Expertise
Tested & Certified Solutions
Global Service Network