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fire cavity barriers
Fire safety is paramount for buildings, an important part of your passive fire protection strategy is fire cavity barriers. These barriers provide resistance to fire and smoke in void spaces such as walls, ceiling and floors. 
 
In this article we will look at why cavity barriers are essential to keeping your buildings safe against fires. 

What is a Cavity Barrier? 

A fire cavity barrier is an important part of passive fire protection. They are used to limit the spread of fire and smoke in void spaces within ceilings, walls and floors. 
 
Fire cavity barriers are made from mineral fibre and/or intumescent materials that expand when exposed to high temperatures. They help slow down the spread of fire, protecting high-risk areas of your building. 

What is the Difference Between Fire Stops and Cavity Barriers? 

Fire stops and cavity barriers are both designed to protect against the spread of fire and smoke. However, they do this in different ways. 
 
Cavity barriers are used to fill voids that can't be seen and are instilled within the structure of the building. Whereas, fire stops prevent fire spreading through small openings such as around pipes and cables. 

Where Should Fire Cavity Barriers be Installed? 

As an important part of passive fire protection, fire cavity barriers are essential to reduce the spread of fire. To ensure your building is compliant with the regulations and ensure effective fire stopping, making sure they are installed by competent professionals is vital. 
 
The Approved Document B underlines that cavity barriers should be used to divide and close the edges of cavities. The regulations state that cavity barriers should be installed at: : 
The edges of cavities, including: 
Windows 
Doors 
Any entry/exit points 
Between external cavities and compartment floors and walls 
Between internal cavities and compartment floors and walls. Or doors and walls that are forming a fire resisting barrier. 

How do Fire Cavity Barriers Provide Protection? 

Containment 

By using fire cavity barriers, you can split the building into different compartments. The barriers limit the movement of fire and smoke. This is important to slow down the spread of fire,reducing the impact on the building's structure 

Heat Insulation 

Cavity barriers provide heat insulation and can resist high temperatures. The Approved Document B states that cavity walls must provide the minimum of: 
30 minutes integrity 
15 minutes insulation 

Smoke Control 

The installation of cavity barriers is important to help prevent the movement of smoke. Limiting smoke makes visibility better and means all building occupants can evacuate safely. 

What Types of Fire Cavity Barriers are There? 

Fire cavity barriers come in different materials to meet the needs of application and fire resistance requirements, such as: 
Mineral Wool: This is resistant to high temperatures. When used as a cavity barrier, it slows the spread of heat and flames. 
Batt insulation: This is a dense, flame-resistant material. It can be used between studs to prevent fire spreading within walls. 
High density foil faced stone wool barrier 
fire cavity barriers

How Often Should Fire Cavity Barriers be Inspected? 

Fire cavity barriers should be inspected annually to ensure they still meet the industry standards and best practices. Also, having a regular inspection means any potential problems can be addressed quickly. 
 
An inspection on a cavity barrier will check: 
Integrity 
Condition 
Functionality 
Damage 
Degradation 
Obstructions 

What Regulations do Fire Cavity Barriers Have? 

The main regulation that fire cavity barriers have to comply with is Approved Document B. The regulations state that cavity barriers must be installed in critical locations to prevent the spread of fire and smoke. 

Choose GRJ Contracting for Fire Cavity Barrier Installation 

If you need an expert’s help with installing fire cavity barriers in your building, GRJ Contracting can help. 
 
As accredited passive fire protection contractors, we understand the importance of cavity barriers in keeping buildings safe. We ensure your fire cavity barriers are installed correctly and meet regulations. 
 
For more information on cavity barriers or to book your consultation, get in touch with our team of experts. 
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GRJ CONTRACTING 
GRJ Contracting Ltd was established in 2007 with the purpose of specialising in the design, supply, and installation of quality passive fire protection systems for the commercial and residential UK construction market. As an accredited company certified with IFC, ASFP, ISO 9001 and Cyber Essentials based in the Midlands, we operate nationwide on new build and legacy construction projects of all scales and our range of services includes Intumescent Coatings and Rigid Boarding systems for Structural Steelwork protection, Service Penetration Firestopping, Mineral Fibre Boarding systems for internal building fire compartmentation and more. 
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