Fire Stopping

What is fire stopping?

Fire stopping is an essential fire-prevention technique to stop a fire from spreading throughout a building. It involves the sealing of gaps or other openings through which fire, smoke and heat could pass through (either vertically or laterally). It is vital that the correct fire stopping methods are installed to prevent a fire from escalating. Fire stopping prevents fire from spreading by creating fire resisting compartments that subdivide a building either vertically or horizontally. This ensures that a fire is contained within a compartment. For the fire to be contained however, any openings or gaps must be correctly sealed and fire-resistant walls and floors installed. Gaps must also be sealed between fire resisting constructions, i.e. gaps between walls and the floors above them. This ensures that a substantial barrier is constructed.

Types of fire stops

RES Fire Protection Engineers use various types of fire stopping methods, including: Fire sleeves A fire sleeve is intended to seal an aperture that has been created by electrical cabling or pipes passing through a fire-rated wall, ceiling or floor. If a fire breaks out and heat spreads, the sleeve opens out and expands to fill any gaps. If plastic pipes pass through a wall and a fire sleeve is installed near them, the sleeve will seal off the pipe by crushing it, preventing smoke and fire from passing through. Fire collars Fire collars cover pipes with flame retardant compounds that expand to stop the fire from reaching the pipes and potentially spreading to other areas. Fire covers  Fire covers are designed to cover indoor luminaires. If a fire breaks out, the cover expands to fill space with a high level of insulation that is fire-resistant. Gap fillers and fire sealants These products expand upon contact with high heat or fire, and work to seal gaps and prevent the spreading of smoke and flame. Different sealants can be used for different purposes.

Why do fire stopping methods need to be used?

In order to keep the occupants of a building safe, it is important that a building has the proper fire stopping methods installed to prevent fire spread. RES is FIRAS certified for penetration sealing systems. Fire stopping methods can save lives if implemented correctly. Every building layout is different, therefore different fire stopping methods will be required. A successful fire stopping system works when all fire stop products are working together to prevent fire from spreading. If one product fails, the rest of the system could fail. RES Fire Protection Engineers offer expert fire stopping services and advice as part of our Passive Fire Protection solutions to ensure that building gaps and voids are correctly sealed and fire resistant. We can advise on the correct fire stopping solutions for your premises. We cover the South of England including London, Berkshire, Bracknell, Windsor, Middlesex & Surrey, Oxfordshire, Hampshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Essex & Kent, West & East Sussex, Reading, Maidenhead, Slough, Newbury and the surrounding areas.

Smoke Control and Ventilation Systems

What is a smoke ventilation system?

Smoke control and ventilation systems can be either natural or mechanical systems that vent smoke out of a building to enable low level escape routes to be kept clear of smoke, aiding visibility in the case of an emergency. This makes it easier for occupants to escape from a fire, and also prevents further damage to a building. Different premises will have different needs for smoke control and ventilation systems depending on their size, style and the number of occupants within them. According to statistics published by the UK Government, the most common cause of death in the instance of a fire is a person being overcome by gas or smoke, leading to loss of consciousness and eventual loss of life. An effective smoke control and ventilation system is therefore crucial in order to keep smoke away from commonly used areas in a building such as corridors, safety routes, staircases and lobbies. If a fire breaks out, an effective smoke detector should activate on every floor of a building, ensuring that occupants can easily and safely escape while the fire is in a state of infancy.

Natural versus mechanical ventilation systems

There are two main types of smoke control and ventilation systems – natural and mechanical. Natural ventilation systems use the natural movement of hot gasses to vent smoke through a ventilator. Natural systems use windows, vents and automatic opening vents (AOVs), and are used as part of UK Building Regulations. Natural systems can also offer everyday air ventilation. Mechanical systems require extraction and removal of smoke by forcing it through fans.

 The need for replacement air

It is essential to have a supply of replacement air that takes the place of gasses and smoke that is extracted from a building. If replacement air doesn’t come in to a building, it will become depressurised. This air supply can be sourced from natural ventilators that are in a remote position away from a fire, automatic doors or from inlet ventilators that are positioned near the floor.    Why install a smoke ventilation system? A smoke control and ventilation system greatly reduces the chances of building occupants choking or being overwhelmed by smoke. It reduces the risk of smoke inhalation around escape routes such as corridors and staircases, and makes it easier for emergency services to access a building. A well-implemented smoke control and ventilation system can reduce the risk of a fire developing and limit smoke damage to a building (as well as the equipment inside it such as computers and other technical equipment, or even personal possessions). How do smoke detectors work? A smoke control and ventilation system is activated by smoke detectors. Once activated, the system should force a natural flow of air into a building while smoke is removed. Smoke control and ventilation systems with RES Fire Protection Engineers We can design and commission a smoke control and ventilation system to suit the needs of your premises whilst meeting UK Building Regulations. We work with systems manufacturers and accredited service and maintenance providers to ensure that all systems we install comply with current legislation. Our experienced installers ensure that your ventilation system is installed correctly and on time. Our highly trained engineers will thoroughly test the installed system before handover. We offer smoke control and ventilation systems services covering the South of England including London, Berkshire, Bracknell, Windsor, Middlesex & Surrey, Oxfordshire, Hampshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Essex & Kent, West & East Sussex, Reading, Maidenhead, Slough, Newbury and the surrounding areas.

LED Emergency light

Having the correct lighting installed in a premise is very important to the health and safety of those using it particularly if it is a workplace. Correct LED emergency light installation makes it quicker and easier to identify hazards while making an environment easier and more comfortable for people to work in because of optimum light levels. Poor lighting can have a detrimental effect on employees’ and visitors’ health in an organisation’s premises, including:

  • Eyestrain
  • Migraine and headaches
  • Sick Building Syndrome
  • Epileptic fits/seizures

Having the correct LED emergency lighting is essential for any business and or premises owner, especially in cases where a sudden loss of light would prevent safe escape from a building in an emergency. At RES Fire Protection Engineers, we offer the following services for LED Emergency light solutions:

  • Installations
  • Regular inspection and testing
  • Repairs
  • Fault identification

LED Emergency lighting and the law

LED emergency light solutions are a UK legal requirement in all non-domestic and certain types of residential premises, as they ensure that a building is compliant with relevant British Standards and the law (Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order 2006). This is something we can check for you at RES. We can also advise on and provide emergency LED lighting for your business, so that you can have a bespoke solution based on your business requirements. Regulations regarding LED emergency lighting are very specific, and you need to adhere to the following areas in order for premises to be compliant:

  • Illuminate escape routes adequately for ease of visibility
  • To provide sufficient illumination so that all users of a building can effectively access escape routes
  • To use lighting in an effective way so that all fire alarm call points, fire extinguishers and other safety equipment can be easily located
  • To provide sufficient lighting so that proper shut down procedures can be carried out in high risk locations 

LED emergency lighting needs to be activated for the entire period that a danger exists, or until normal lighting is restored for work to be undertaken as normal. If a normal lighting system fails in the event of a fire, a back-up power source is required for LED emergency lighting to fully function as necessary. This can be achieved by way of battery packs to each LED emergency light or by way of a centralised battery system To prevent glare, it is important to LED emergency lights should be mounted at least 2m from the floor so that effective light can illuminate all areas around a building and various escape routes.

Types of emergency lighting system

Maintained – LED emergency lights that operate as a normal light fitting and can be controlled with all the other lights in the area, however when the power fails the maintained emergency fitting will continue to operate but at a lower light level.

Non Maintained – Is normally switched off, with its batteries being continuously charged and a green LED showing fully charged. When the power fails then the fitting switches on using its battery supply. Non-maintained fittings are not part of the general lighting but are fittings such as emergency exit signs

LED Emergency Light solutions with RES

If you need LED emergency light solutions for your premises including installation, testing, maintenance or repairs, RES can carry out a comprehensive service to meet your requirements. We cover the South of England including London, Berkshire, Bracknell, Windsor, Middlesex & Surrey, Oxfordshire, Hampshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Essex & Kent, West & East Sussex, Reading, Maidenhead, Slough, Newbury and the surrounding areas.

Fire safety signs

Fire safety signs

Fire safety signs are essential for keeping those in a non-domestic building safe, ensuring that staff and visitors know what to do and where to go in the case of a fire. At RES Fire Protection Engineers, we have a range of signs that suit current fire safety regulations and offer installation as well as guidance, advice and training.   By having good quality fire safety signs that are in accordance with fire safety regulations, you can help reduce this figure and keep your staff and visitors safe. Our fire safety sign range includes fire exit signs, fire action signs, mandatory signs, emergency plan and procedure signs, warning signs, fire equipment signs, fire assembly point signs and fire extinguisher signs.  

Types of fire safety signs

Mandatory signs

These fire safety signs are blue and circular in shape with a white pictogram that must be obeyed in accordance with UK fire safety law. Mandatory fire safety signs advise all people within a building on actions that must be followed to prevent fire or accidents, such as wearing a hard hat in a workshop. These signs should be displayed near entry points to a building, and on fire doors that must be kept shut, kept locked shut or automatic doors that are held open and must be kept clear. Fire action notices indicate actions that building occupants must do in the event of a fire. These signs take the form of white text on a blue background, although they are not always in a circular format. The blue and white colours used on the signs emphasise their mandatory nature. A general-purpose mandatory sign is a white exclamation mark on a blue circle, which is most commonly positioned next to a fire action notice.

Safe condition signs  

This type of fire safety sign takes a green rectangular form with a white pictogram and text located centrally. It indicates the nearest fire and emergency exits and escape routes, as well as first aid kits and other necessary safety equipment. These signs must always comply with Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996, current British Standards for fire safety signage and the 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act.  

Fire fighting signs

Red fire fighting signs indicate where safety equipment is located to tackle a fire, such as fire extinguishers. Fire fighting signs can also signal fire alarm activation points. They are often red and rectangular in shape with white writing and a pictogram.   

Warning signs

These fire safety signs are triangular in shape, yellow in colour, and act as a warning to building occupants that there are dangers nearby that are a great risk in the event of a fire – such as the placement of a combustible liquid or radioactive material. These signs are required by the Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996 and in specific cases by the Dangerous Substances (Notification and Marking of Sites) Regulations 1990.

Prohibition signs

Prohibition signs are circular red signs with crossbars running through them, indicating that certain actions are prohibited due to their dangerous nature. For instance, in the case of a fire risk, a sign may indicate that smoking is prohibited in certain areas. All companies should make employees aware of prohibition signs and how they relate to their duties within an organisation.

Supplementary signs

Directional arrow signs in green, red and yellow colours are supplementary signs that point out safety exits or fire safety equipment.  

Fire safety signs with RES

RES offer an extensive range of JALITE fire safety signs and fire safety signage solutions that are designed to conform to British and international standards. Why choose JALITE AAA photoluminescent signs and products? Legislation states that all safety signs require illumination and must remain illuminated under a power loss. This requirement can be met by using JALITE AAA photoluminescent signs. RES are an Authorised Distributor of the JALITE range of photoluminescent safety products which now include fire safety signs, health and safety signs, safety wayguidance systems and even photoluminescent paint.

View JALITE Online Catalogue

We are proud to be an authorised distributor of Jalite signs and provide safety signs for the South of England including London, Berkshire, Bracknell, Windsor, Middlesex & Surrey, Oxfordshire, Hampshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Essex & Kent, West & East Sussex, Reading, Maidenhead, Slough, Newbury and the surrounding areas.