What Is A Firewall In Construction?
What Is A Firewall In Construction?
A firewall is a structure that is designed to prevent the spread of fire by creating a barrier between different parts of a building or between different buildings. These structures may be used in a variety of settings, including buildings, electrical substations, aircraft, and vehicles.
Firewalls are often used as part of a building’s passive fire protection systems and are constructed in accordance with local building codes.
They can be used to subdivide a building into separate fire areas or to protect valuable equipment, such as transformers at an electrical substation, from the spread of fire in the event of an ignition.
They can be designed to withstand exposure to fire for a certain amount of time, usually measured in hours, and can help prevent the collapse of a building if one section becomes unstable due to fire. While you may not be able to see firewalls, they are an important safety feature that helps ensure you have enough time to escape in the event of a fire.
Types of Firewall
There are three types of fire-resistant walls: firewalls, fire barriers, and fire partitions. Firewalls are self-supporting walls that extend from the foundation to the roof and are designed to prevent the spread of fire.
They are used to divide buildings into smaller sections, and are structurally stable enough to remain standing even if a section of the building collapses. Fire barriers are continuous walls that extend from one exterior wall to another, or from a floor to a ceiling or roof, and have a fire resistance rating equal to or greater than the required rating for the application.
They are not self-supporting and do not extend through concealed spaces. Fire partitions are similar to fire barriers, but do not need to extend through concealed spaces if the construction below the partition has a fire resistance rating equal to or greater than the partition.
A high challenge fire wall is a specialized firewall designed for use in buildings with high fire risk occupancies, and has enhanced fire resistance ratings and additional protection against the spread of fire. Portions of buildings that are separated by firewalls may be treated as separate buildings in terms of fire safety.
Characteristics Of Firewall
Fire walls are used as a form of passive fire protection in buildings to prevent the spread of fire. They are designed to have a specific fire resistance rating as required by codes, and in Germany they must also be able to withstand impacts.
Fire walls must be able to withstand a minimum load of 5 lbs per square foot and any additional seismic loads.
In substations, fire walls are often modular and custom designed for the specific application. In buildings, fire walls typically extend through the roof and are capped with flashing to protect against the elements.
What Are The Materials Use For Firewalls
Fire walls are usually made of concrete, blocks, or reinforced concrete. Older fire walls made before World War II were made of brick. Fire barrier walls are typically made of drywall or gypsum board with wood or metal framing.
Any penetrations through fire walls, such as for pipes and cables, must be protected with a firestop assembly to prevent the spread of fire. These openings must not weaken the structural integrity of the wall or it will not be able to withstand the required fire duration without the risk of collapse. Other openings in fire walls, such as doors and windows, must also be fire-rated.