Fire has no respect
for life & safety, it dose not even condone the
ignorance hence measures are required to be prevent
fire before the damage occur. In this paper, emphasis
has been supplied to distinguish the two basic approaches
for fire management, how passive fire protection system
The main objectives of fire safety:
- Life Safety
- Property Protection &
- Continuity of operation
To obtain or reach
the above objective we have to maintain below mentioned
approach of fire management:
It is an approach taken at the building design stage
for practical solutions to fire problems with a view
to reduce fire loses and safety of lives. The fire protection
subject can be divided into two groups and measures
implemented for reducing fire risk as under:
- Active Fire Suppression Systems
- Passive Fire Protection Systems
Fire Suppression Systems:
These systems and equipments are used for detection
& communication process that informs the occurrence
of a fire outbreak and triggers some sort of counteraction
towards extinguishing the fire. These arrangements can
be as under:
- Portable fire extinguishers
- Fire hydrant and hose reel systems
- Automatic sprinkler system
- Fixed fire suppression flooding
- Detection and automatic alarm
system coupled with automatic fire suppression system
& other electronics system for monitoring situations
& access control devices etc.
Passive fire protection is an all-encompassing fire
safety concept, which embraces the passive measures
in fire containment design, & in addition augment
the active measures. It is the proactive approach taken
at the building design stage, aimed at addressing a
comprehensive solution to the fire problem.
Passive fire protection is the primary measure integrated
within the constructional fabric of a building to provide
inherent fire safety and protection by responding against
flame, heat and smoke to maintain the fundamental requirements
of building compartmentation, structural stability,
fire separation and safe means of escape.
Introduction of Passive Fire Protection System:
Passive fire protection measure achieve their intended
purpose by raising the fire resistance of the structure,
protecting the structure against the effects of fire,
reducing fire spread through secondary ignition, limiting
the movement of flame and smoke, and minimizing the
danger of fire -induced collapse or structural distortion.
Passive fire protection design, incorporating passive
fire protection materials, systems and assemblies, serves
by fire containment to protect life, safeguard the building
structure, protect assets, maintain building serviceability
after fire, minimize rebuild costs, and facilitate quick
business recovery and continuity.
These systems do not require any type of out source
power to function in case of fire.
Current Situation of Passive Fire Protection
Systems In India:
1. Passive fire protection concept & systems are
at developing or initial implementing stage in the Indian
fire safety industry.
2. Still people are concentrating on the passive fire
protection for load bearing structures (Beam and Columns)
using concrete mostly in the industrial segment.
3. In the commercial & residential market segment
no more step forwarding for this concept, except some
application of fire barrier paints & sprays. Government
authorities need on laying strict regulations for passive
4. The regulations for the fire safety are followed
in Indian market are based on National building codes
(NBC), which follows the basic guidelines of the British
The national building code of India, chapter IS 1646
defines the fire protection standards for building s
in India. These are compared favorably with those followed
world widely such as the British standard BS 476: part
4-26, DIN 4102, International Standard Organization
But the problem in India is not with the code, but with
the enforcement of the code, Fire accidents in cities
and towns in India alone cause an annual average of
20,000 fatal injuries and a financial loss of 1,200
crore. Most of these fires occur in commercial establishments.
Despite this, fire safety standards continue to be flouted
with impunity by builder across the country.
Where it should be apply:
The scope of application for passive fire protection
system is following areas:
- Structural fire protection
- Compartmentation of building &
structural fire spread
- Containment of fire spread
- Preserving the function of fire
- Life safety of the personnel inside
the premises & fire services personnel
- Continuity of operation
- Safe escape routes & sage
refuge for occupants
The basic application
for Indian industry would be:
- Mechanical & electrical enclosures:
Electrically operated active system should be well
protected so that they are functional during fire.
- Fire rated partitions: fire Sage
lobby and sate escape passage ways are critical
to life safety.
- Fire rates ceilings: Services
passing above the unprotected ceiling- a source
- Fire rated ducts (Ventilation,
smoke extraction): when the smoke temperature is
so high that sheet metal ducts become distorted,
making it unable to extract smoke.
- Fire stopping penetration seals:
Fire Barrier to prevent propagation through services
- Steel Protection: Steel is considered
a strong building material but it looses its strength
in temperature over 5500C in fire.
The way to implement
the concept of passive fire protection system in our
1. Specific norms pertaining to each application area
in the revised building codes.
2. Stricter enforcement of the norms, by regulatory
authorities as fire services.
3. Acceptance of worldwide test standards, besides BS
and American Standards of Testing of Materials (ASTM).
By regulatory bodies, like NBC, Fire Services, in India.
4. Reduction in import duty structure, considering these
- Items for life safety
- Items for property safety
5. Continuing awareness
campaign to increase knowledge on the applications,
the problems associated and the solutions.
6. Educating the future architects by incorporating
the concept in syllabi of architectural and civil engineering
7. Development of more testing institutes in collaboration
with international testing institutes like Loss Prevention
Council, UK, Warnock Heresy, FM etc.
-rise building fire in India:
10 + 2 Basements
had broken out in banquet hall in the basement
and remained undetected for quite some time.
Smoke spread through vertical shafts and ducts.
Out of 37 people 34 people were killed due to
asphyxiation due to toxic gases, one due to
burns & 2 jumped to death.
12 + 1
occurred from the switchboard due to electric
fault at 5th floor.
There was no fire alarm system in building.
Even emergency escapes were covered due to fire
& unavailability of emergency light people
could not find way to escape.
A Transformer blast in the pavement parking
lot started the fire. Due to the
of transformer oil flowed out, caught fire and
spread fire to adjacent areas like car Park,
A/C. Plant etc. Hot gases and smoke were immediately
conveyed to the upper levels through A/C ducts.
Most of the victims died due to asphyxia (inhalation
of toxic gases and smoke) and not due to burns.
broke out due to short circuit on the 4th floor
and soon spread to the upper floors. The entire
office of NFL burnt down. Three floor damaged.
was involved in a major fire due to PVC made
electrical shaft getting involved. Lot of toxic
smoke was created which spread to upper floors.
Many of them were rescued through snorkels by
Mumbai fire brigade. Fire fighting went on for
2 ½ hours.
Fire Protection Solution:
Passive fire protection measures are incorporated to
close the penetration of various high voltage electric
cables, cable-tray & other hazardous penetration,
which carries risk of carrying the fire/smoke/heat from
one chamber/room to another & making fire un-controllable
in few moments.
Passive fire protection systems prevent fire/smoke/heat
from penetrating from wall/floors/ceiling from one room/chamber
to another. Few multination companies have developed
the technologies in the field of Passive fire protection
system are as follows:
Intumescent Technologies: Substantial
or irreversible thermal expansion due to heat input.
Heat is absorbed during expansion & products become
thermal insulator. If it is installed at any type of
penetration, it stops the fire & smoke to pass through
Technology: It is based on a chemical
reaction that absorbs heat during fire.
Technology: Energy is consumed to remove
the surface, reducing the amount of heat available to
pass through the system. Fire retardant coating works
with this technology.
integrity, compartmentation and provision of refuge
areas, some of the provisions are listed
as under: -
- Use of fire retardant coating with
paints/ solutions, seals, plugs etc.
- Fire barrier moldable putty for
cable hole & cable tray penetration in the wall,
floor & ceilings
- Fire barrier composite sheet with
intumescent technology used for fire protection from
the cable trays and various cable penetration.
- Fire dam spray for curtain wall
- Fire dampers
- Mechanical ventilation system for
supply of air and smoke extraction system to reduce
- Automatic smoke/ heat detection
and fire alarm system for early warning and response
main objectives of Gujarat Safety Council are
- To devise effective methods
of accident precention and propagate them amongst
employees, workes and public at large, in Factories,
on Road Home and in Farms.
- To organize Training Programmes,
Seminars, Conference and other Safety related
- To conduct safety educational
campaigns, to arouse public opinion and interest
of employers and workers in safety.