Safeguarding spaces

One of the most common areas for fire to start and spread undetected is within a concealed roof space. The unencumbered spread of fire and smoke in concealed building spaces endangers occupants and fire-fighters. It is also a major contributor to business disruption with widespread damage to property and its contents.

Restoration following a roof void fire can be extensive, time consuming and costly. The resulting collateral damage from smoke and resulting firefighting water combined with inclement weather as a result of loss of roof structures can result in entire building having to be demolished following what was initially a relatively small fire that spread rapidly unimpeded through the length of a building through its concealed voids. 

Stopping fire spreading

One of the most effective systems to install to prevent the spread of fire in a roof void is cavity barriers. These systems are typically suspended like a curtain from metal framework. Typically referred to as “fire barriers” or “fire curtains” they are used to subdivide the building into compartments where the risks from fire can be managed. 

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Adhering to regulations

HM Government Building Regulations Approved Document B (Fire Safety) states in section B3 9.8 that “Cavity barriers should be used to sub-divide any roof space….” B3 9.13 goes on to say “Every cavity barrier should be constructed to provide at least 30 minutes fire resistance.”

Care should be taken to identify the exact requirements for your building. The performance of fire curtains/barriers is broken down into 2 components: Insulation – the ability to stop the spread of heat/thermal transfer and Integrity – stopping fire on one side of the material from breaking through to the opposite side. Different scenarios require different performance criteria.


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