What is the difference between active and passive fire protection?
It is very clear that it is important to have adequate fire protection in every building. For most people, what comes to mind when they think of fire protection are smoke detectors and fire extinguishers.
However, these two elements only cover a small fraction of the covered services you need to have at all times. This is because many parts of building fire protection are often neglected or completely forgotten.
There are actually two types of fire protection:
- Active Fire Protection (AFP)
- Passive Fire Protection (PFP)
One type of coverage cannot be chosen over another. Instead, AFP and PFP must be used together for full fire protection.
It is important to understand the difference between AFP and PFP so that you know that your building is covered by both types.
Active Fire Protection:
Active Fire Protection consists of fire protection components that require some type of action to function. This action may be manual, such as using a fire extinguisher, or automatic such as a sprinkler system that sprays a fire.
Actions resulting from active fire protection are triggered by some kind of warning or signal. The action itself will help contain, block or extinguish a fire that has already started.
While fire prevention systems are the most obvious example of AFP, fire detection of fire alarm systems is equally important and is also considered AFP. After picking up the signal, the system will trigger a response such as warning the fire department, activating the sprinkler, or closing the fire door.
A functioning fire alarm system and fire suppression system can increase your chances of putting out a fire before it spreads.
Passive Fire Protection
Passive Fire Protection is neglected but is a fundamental component of your fire protection. Despite its name, it always works. A PFP is a set of components used to divide a building to ensure the fire forms spread and does not require action to function.
Passive fire protection is usually structured and built into a building. By using fireproof walls and floors, PFP gives people time to escape buildings that have the fire.
Other examples of PFPs include dampers that prevent the spread of fire and smoke through building ducts and fire doors that divide fires. Fire retardants successfully divide fires and keep damage to a minimum by eliminating fuels that may be used by the fire to spread or ignite.
Small fires or fires limited to small areas give you a greater chance of extinguishing them, avoiding costs and avoiding injuries.
Why do you need both
There is no argument about what kind of protection is better. Active Fire Protection and Passive Fire Protection perform fundamentally different tasks of equal importance.
Active Fire Protection takes action to put out fires. Passive Fire Protection will help prevent any form of fire from spreading or prevent early ignition.
They work together by warning people inside the building of fire and controlling the fire safely so people can evacuate and try to put out the fire.