Commercial Firestopping in Phoenix, AZ

Commercial firestopping is a process of sealing openings in commercial buildings to prevent fire from spreading throughout the property. It also confines heat and smoke to one area before life-threatening damage can occur in others.

Firestopping systems are fire protection arrangements designed to seal openings in walls and floors. The systems use various components, depending on the location:

  • Cables/cable trays or conduits
  • Fire-rated walls/partitions, floors or ceilings
  • Materials/methods for sealing penetrations

Why Commercial Firestopping is Needed in Phoenix

Maricopa County is hot and dry, which can create conditions for a “tinderbox” — a fire just waiting to happen. In 2021, it took 200 Phoenix-area firefighters to bring a large commercial fire under control, but not before the blaze spread and destroyed several businesses.

Fire protection and prevention are important to every commercial construction project. It can be influenced by materials, building usage and how well the property is maintained. The necessary components for fire protection are:

  • Detection and warning systems
  • Containment systems
  • Suppression systems
  • Ventilation

Phoenix commercial property fire codes were developed based on the International Fire Code (IFC) 2012 and follow NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) standards.

All structures and projects must meet the specifications for:

  • Emergency lighting
  • Fire department access
  • Fire flow
  • Fire protection systems
  • Occupant egress

Structures and projects subject to this review include, but are not limited to:

  • Additions – Existing structures
  • Additions – Security measures
  • Building change of use
  • Construction – New buildings/structures
  • Installation, modification, alteration – Any security gate
  • Modifications/alterations that impact egress – Existing structures
  • Occupancy classification change

Active vs. Passive Fire Protection

Active fire protection takes the form of some action to prevent or minimize a fire. Active systems include fire extinguishers, fire alarms, smoke detectors, sprinklers, etc. A kitchen worker suppressing a grease fire is active fire protection.

Commercial firestopping systems are passive fire protection. Passive fire protection divides the property into designated spaces. Areas are compartmentalized to reduce the spread of fire, heat and smoke throughout the building.

A combination of active and passive fire protection systems is necessary to meet Phoenix building code requirements.

Types of Firestopping

Firestopping systems are either penetration or fire-resistive joint systems. The goal is to contain a fire in one area long enough to evacuate the building.

When commercial properties are constructed, the engineers strive to maintain safe wall ratings using fire barriers. Sometimes wiring, cables and pipes must pass through those walls and fire barriers to traverse the building.

Penetrating firestops are used to block the spread of fire via cables (electrical, data, etc.), plumbing pipes and any other applications or materials that travel from room to room: walls, floors and ceilings.

Fire-resistive joint systems are used to protect spaces installed between fire-rated areas. An example would be where a wall meets the ceiling, which is also the floor of the room immediately above.

We’re Ready for Your Next Project

Alpha Insulation & Waterproofing has the experience and a solid reputation that can only come from many years of commercial fireproofing throughout the U.S. For almost 40 years, our team of professionals has been the go-to for industrial and commercial fireproofing and fire prevention as well as:

Your time is valuable. We’re ready to give you the accurate pricing and timely bidding you need for your project. Take the time to call 623-432-3930 or contact us to learn more about commercial firestopping in Phoenix, AZ.

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