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What does fire protection involve?

Fire protection is a term covering a broad spectrum of techniques, equipment and procedures. Whilst it is vital for all premises to have some form of fire protection in place according to the UK’s fire legislation for those living in, working at or simply visiting the building, there are a variety of different types of fire protection available, and here we run through exactly what these are.

Active or passive fire protection

There are two types of fire protection, active and passive, both of which refers to a different way of handling fire safety.

Active fire protectionThis is the manual and automatic detection and suppression of fires, including the use of fire sprinkler and fire alarm systems.

Passive fire protectionPassive protection includes the installation of firewalls at a premises, as well as fire rated floor assemblies in order to form fire compartments which will limit the spread of fire, high temperatures and creation of smoke, through isolating the outbreak.


This is, of course, a vital aspect of fire protection. The provision of information regarding both active and passive fire protection systems is a sure fire way to ensure that operators, occupants and emergency staff and personnel have a full, working knowledge and understanding of the systems in place and how to perform the fire safety plan at the premises in question.

Classifying fires

Of course, a vital aspect of putting a fire protection system in place is having a full understanding of different types of fire. The fire types are ‘classed’ under the letters A-F, and are as follows (within Europe):

Class A – Fires that involve flammable solids such as wood, cloth, rubber, paper and some types of plastics

Class B – Fires that involve flammable liquids or liquefiable solids such as petrol/gasoline, oil, paint, some waxes & plastics, but not cooking fats or oils

Class C – Fires that involve flammable gases such as natural gas, hydrogen, propane, butane

Class D – Fires that involve combustible metals, such as sodium, magnesium and potassium

Class E – Fires that involve any of the materials found in Class A and B fires, but with the introduction of an electrical appliance, wiring or other electrically energised objects in the vicinity of the fire, with a resultant electrical shock risk if a conductive agent is used to control the fire

Class F – Fires involving cooking fats and oils. The high temperature of the oils when on fire far exceeds that of other flammable liquids, making normal extinguishing agents ineffective

Fire protection engineering

Fire protection engineering simply refers to the application of science and engineering principles to premises which are designed to protect people and the environment in which they are in from the destructive nature of fire. It can include:

  • Analysis of fire hazards
  • Prevention of fire damage by proper design and construction of buildings, materials, structures, industrial processes and transportation systems
  • Design, installation and maintenance of fire detection, suppression and communication systems
  • Post-fire investigation and analysis

Here at Target Fire Protection, we apply the latest technology to ensure our customers’ premises benefit from the best, most forward-thinking fire systems to suit their individual requirements and safety needs.

For more information on any of the services we offer across Manchester, Rochdale, Bury, Oldham and across the UK, simply get in touch with our friendly team of experts today and we’ll be more than happy to help with any enquiries you may have.

For free, impartial advice, call our expert team: 0800 030 6079

BAFE Constructionline Safecontractor ISO 9001 ISO 14001

We would like to reassure our customers that all of our services are operating as normal and that we are putting in place strict precautionary measures to create a social spacing compliant service. As our work is necessitated by law, if things do change we will make arrangements for emergency engineers to still be available.

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