Breaches Between Compartments Fire Risk

After carrying out another fire risk assessment it again highlighted one of the common issues found, breaches between compartments. The last two fire risk assessments Sky Blue Safety Ltd have carried out, have been on new office fit outs where it would be anticipated no issues would be found.

This is often down to maintenance work such as, additional data cabling, fire alarm cables or electrical cabling or plumbing.

A breach of compartment will often be a hole in the wall with a cable or pipe fed through, in same cases cable trays.

One frequent place a breach may be found is from cupboards housing electrical distribution boards. I’ve even seen in a serviced office building where the corner of a fire door on a electrial distribution board cupboard had been cut out to feed conduit through for cabling.

The issue breaches of compartments can cause if a fire was to occur allows fire or smoke to spread quicker through the building, or provide oxygen to keep the fire alive.

In low risk offices the likelihood of a fire occuring is through a failure in electrical systems, it is important to ensure there are no breaches of compartment where electrical distribution boards are housed.

The main thing is when any maintenance works are carried out they are inspected. To ensure all holes have been suitably filled with intumescent expanding foam, sealant or filler.

It is also advisable prior to any works starting asking the contractor how they will fill any holes, this will aid quantifying the competency of a contractor.

If you see any red cables fed through holes which are not filled, these would be for the fire alarm, would have to question the competence of the fire alarm contractor if they have left holes unfilled.

Intumescent foam or filler will often be pink in colour to aid identification, if it is not pink in colour, would be advisable to check packaging of foam or filler used to ensure it is fire rated, if not it may need a fire retardant coating as non intumescent foam may easily burn in the event of a fire.

If your current fire risk assessment is due for review or you require a new fire risk assessment contact Sky Blue Safety Ltd, by contacting us at neil@skybluesafety.co.uk or calling us at 01933 812234