What is Passive Fire Protection?

Fire protection comes in 2 specific forms : active and passive systems:

Active systems

Active systems are in the form of fire suppression, extinguishers, sprinkler, alarm and extract ventilation.

The overall aim of active systems is to extinguish the fire by:

  • Detecting the fire early and evacuating the building
  • Alerting emergency services at an early stage of the fire
  • Control the movement of smoke and fire
  • Suppress and/or starve the fire of oxygen and fuel

Passive Systems

Passive systems come in the form of fire rated doors, barrier, ceilings and structural fire protection.

The overall aim of passive systems is to contain the fire by:

  • Use of fire rated partitions and doors to prevent the fire and smoke from moving from one compartment to another
  • Delaying the collapse of the building structure
  • Delaying the growth of the fire

Passive fire protection

There are 2 main systems used to protect buildings and structures against the risk of fire:


Systems are available in different types such as FRM Boards, Gypsum Boards, / Mineral Fibre Boards/ Calcium and MgO boards. Where there is a chance of exposure to moisture or water then FRM Boards present the best option.

  • Clean, dry installation
  • Fire performance and finish all in one
  • Up to 240 minutes fire performance
  • Pre-formed section available
  • Excellent stability


Thin film intumescent basecoats for steel structures.

  • Installation suitable only on sites not exposed or shielded from sand or dust
  • Constant Quality checks required
  • Primer compatibility checks required
  • Drying times
  • Site over-spray issues
  • Masking may be required to surrounding areas
  • Overall cost

Determination of fire protection measures

The type of protection to use normally comes down to the following factors: