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Designing for Fire Safety in Schools

Designing for Fire Safety in Schools


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Published by Kay A Dankwa

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Published by: Kay A Dankwa on Sep 01, 2010
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Every cavity barrier should be constructed to
provide at least 30 minutes fire resistance. It
may be formed by any construction provided
for another purpose if it meets the provisions
for cavity barriers (see appendix A, table A1,
item 13).

Cavity barriers in a stud wall or partition, or
provided around openings may be formed of:

a.steel at least 0.5mm thick;

b.timber at least 38mm thick;

c.polythene-sleeved mineral wool, or mineral
wool slab, in either case under compression
when installed in the cavity; or

d.calcium silicate, cement-based or gypsum-
based boards at least 12mm thick.

Note: Cavity barriers provided around openings
may be formed by the window or door frame if
the frame is constructed of steel or timber of
the minimum thickness in a) or b) above as

A cavity barrier should, wherever possible, be
tightly fitted to a rigid construction and
mechanically fixed in position. Where this is not
possible (for example, in the case of a junction
with slates, tiles, corrugated sheeting or similar
materials) the junction should be fire-stopped.
Provisions for fire-stopping are set out in section

Cavity barriers should also be fixed so that their
performance is unlikely to be made ineffective

a.movement of the building due to
subsidence, shrinkage or temperature
change and movement of the external
envelope due to wind;

b.collapse in a fire of any services penetrating

c.failure in a fire of their fixings (but see note
below); and

d.failure in a fire of any material or construction
which they abut. (For example, if a
suspended ceiling is continued over the top
of a fire-resisting wall or partition and direct
connection is made between the ceiling and
the cavity barrier above the line of the wall or
partition, premature failure of the cavity
barrier can occur when the ceiling collapses.
However, this may not arise if the ceiling is
designed to provide fire protection of 30
minutes or more.)

Note: Where cavity barriers are provided in roof
spaces, the roof members to which they are
fitted are not expected to have any fire
resistance – for the purpose of supporting the
cavity barrier(s).

Any openings in a cavity barrier should be
limited to those for:

doors which have at least 30 minutes fire
resistance (see appendix C, table C1, item 8)
and are fitted in accordance with the
provisions of appendix C;

Requirement B3 – Internal fire spread (structure) | Section 6


(c) Any other material




1. Structure (but not a wall
separating buildings)
enclosing a protected
shaft which is not a
stairway or a lift shaft

2. Any other situation

(a) Non-combustible



(b) Lead, aluminium,
aluminium alloy, uPVC(2)


fibre cement



Table 11Maximum nominal internal diameter of pipes passing through a compartment wall/floor (see section

6.5.2 onwards)

Pipe material and maximum nominal internal diameter (mm)


1.Any non-combustible material (such as cast iron,
copper or steel) which, if exposed to a temperature of
800°C, will not soften or fracture to the extent that
flame or hot gas will pass through the wall of the pipe.

2.uPVC pipes complying with BS 4514:2001 and uPVC
pipes complying with BS 5255:1989.

the passage of pipes which meet the
provisions in section 6.5;

the passage of cables or conduits containing
one or more cables;

openings fitted with a suitably mounted
automatic fire damper (see section;

ducts which (unless they are fire-resisting) are
fitted with a suitably mounted automatic fire
damper where they pass through the cavity

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