The first and foremost important purpose of any fire protection system is to control and contain the fire when any such incident occurs. In any building, is it an apartment or office, there is always various kinds of systems and structures in required places to reduce the spread of flames during an accident? These systems include high-quality fire barrier and firewalls. In multi-story building fire barriers and firewalls can play a vital role to reduce the impact of fire. At the time of fire people in the building will get ample time to evacuate the building. If a firewall is installed in the building the fire will not cross the firewall and will not spread everywhere and you can see these in a building which is joint with each other.
Apparently, both of these structures have one main function to serve- to help in containing the fire and provide protection as much as possible to the building and to the residents or occupants of that building. But there are some significant differences as well between the high-quality fire barriers and the firewalls. Only an expert can distinguish properly between a firewall and a high-quality fire barrier.
Here Are Some Differences Between the Firewalls and The High-Quality Fire Barriers:
- Firewalls: Firewalls are those exterior walls which are extended without any interruption from the very base of a building to all the way to the very top of the roof of the building. The design of any firewall has been made in such a way that even if the adjacent building to the wall collapses, then also the firewall keeps on standing successfully.
So, it can provide protection in any way and every way. To make this like that, the firewalls are made in such a manner that they are thicker than the normally built walls.
- Fire Barriers: While firewalls are exterior walls, the high-quality fire barriers are the interior walls. These walls are extended from the floor-to-floor to the floor-to-roof even in the interstitial spaces and the concealed spaces, unlike the firewalls. The design is also different from the firewalls. Thee high-quality fire barriers are designed in a manner that they subdivide the particular portions of the building. These fire barriers are supported by certain structures of the buildings, for example, columns of the buildings, floors of the buildings or the roof of the building.
The structures which are used as supporting structures have to have a fire-resistant rating and that rating also cannot be less the rating of the fire barrier which is being supported. The initial flow of heat that is caused by an accident related to firebreak put is restricted by the fire barriers within the area of the origin of the fire. In this way, all the occupants of that particular building get adequate time to be evacuated to a safer place out of the building. The resistance rating of the fire barriers is also different from those of the firewalls- the barriers will have typically a rating of two to three hours of fire resistance.
So, basically, the firewalls are thicker exterior walls with a much higher resistance rating than the fire barriers and fire barriers are less thick interior walls that too with a lower fire resistance rating than that of the firewalls. Both these structures are important for strengthening the protection system of any building as they both have quite a different function.
Both these structures must be made in accordance with the norms and standards to maintain the integrity of the building and the safety of the people residing in the building. Even a little damage to these structures should not be taken casually as even a single little hole can allow the fire to pass through the structure and cause dangerous consequences to the building and the people in it.