Fire compartmentation


Fire compartmentation is the division of a building into smaller subsections using fire-resistant construction materials. Its purpose is to slow down and contain the spread of fire and smoke.

Why is it important?

  • It saves lives!
  • It creates more time for people to evacuate a building by slowing the spread of fire and smoke.
  • It provides customers with a safer way to leave a building by preventing exits being blocked.
  • It protects firefighters as it makes containing and stopping a fire much easier for them.
  • It reduces the risk of fire damage to your property. For example, instead of a fire spreading to the entire building, this fire safety method can limit the damage to small subsections of a building.
  • It protects specific rooms or areas in a building. For instance, a laundry room, where there is higher risk of a fire starting, would be made into a separate building compartment.

How do you maintain the compartmentation of buildings?

We check the adequacy of fire compartmentation during fire risk assessments. If further work is required, this is carried out.

We ask any contractors working on our behalf to complete a Permit to Work, which ensures their work will not compromise the compartmentation of the building.

What can I do to help?

  • Do not wedge open your fire doors as they play a key role in fire compartmentation. If a fire door is wedged open, the whole building will be exposed to the risk of a fire spreading. Even if the rest of the building has measures in place, when fire doors are open the fire will be able to spread.
  • Drilling holes – it takes seconds for a fire to spread through a hole just the size of a pen nib, so it’s vitally important that you do not drill through a compartmentation wall or ceiling. You should also not allow a third-party contractor to do this, without our prior written permission, as any damage caused by drilling must be repaired, and any gaps or holes filled.

Seeking our permission

If you or your appointed contractor are planning to undertake work that requires any of your ceilings or walls to be drilled, you must seek our prior permission.

Requests for permission need to be made using our online form, which can be found here.

Report it!

If you have any concerns that the compartmentation of your home or building may have been damaged, please report this to our customer services team on 0800 048 8955.

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