Why passive fire protection is ‘Specified for a Reason®’

By Promat 10/12/2018

Promat Markets - Specifiers
Promat Markets - Specifiers

Despite the potentially catastrophic consequences of changing a product specification designed to offer passive fire protection, specifications are still being routinely altered just to save a few pounds or due to a lack of technical understanding, according to leading fire, thermal and acoustic insulation manufacturer Promat UK.

Promat UK is supporting architects, designers and manufacturers with a campaign to raise awareness of the significant risks of changing even the tiniest detail in the specification of elements that are designed to protect lives and assets. At the heart of this is its ‘Specified for a Reason®’ message, which has now been registered as a trademark by Promat UK and serves as a reminder to everyone in the supply chain that the design and configuration of fire protection measures simply must not be changed.

Ian Cowley, Regional Director (UK and Scandinavia) at Promat says: “For passive fire protection to deliver on its promise, it needs to be purpose-designed and applied in accordance with certified test conditions and data, and sometimes as a complete system. All the elements and components are chosen to work together to achieve the level of fire resistance required. Change one element – such as the glass type or glazing beads in a fire resistant glazed partition – and there is absolutely no guarantee that the finished product will offer any enhanced protection.

Altering the specification on any aspect of a design is nothing new, of course, and it is often very well-intentioned, but when lives are at stake it is too big a risk to take.

Promat UK is working to ensure clients and specifiers can have total peace of mind when specifying fire resistant materials. This includes practical guidance via a programme of extensive technical support, which includes RIBA-approved CPD seminars for building architects and support at the earliest design stage. It also has numerous QA processes and checks in place to ensure that products are manufactured to a consistently high standard under the requirements of ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 - both 2015 versions.

Ian continues: “It’s imperative for clients to have complete confidence in the full supply chain from product design and manufacture, through to post-installation checks. That’s what we strive for across our entire fire, thermal and acoustic insulation range, in applications as diverse as high performance insulation for steel or concrete structures in the oil and gas sector, non-combustible core materials for furniture or fire stopping panels for train carriages."