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Do You Know What Is Compartmentation?

Compartmentation is sub-dividing the building into compartments separated by fire-resisting constructions such as unique walls, floors, fire doors etc. 
Thanks to this, we can prevent the rapid spread of fire, which will give us a chance to survive on our premises in case of fire.
Compartmentation is a passive fire. However, it is vitally crucial in the situation of fire. 
Many people do not understand its essentiality, but it plays a vital role in saving people’s lives in an unforgivable fire. 
Compartmentation is a silent guard who will come to the rescue when we need it, when we are trapped by the cruel flames when we are helpless. This guard will give us a chance to survive if we come face-to-face with the hot red killer one day.

249 Fire-related Fatalities for Six Months in England

According to the British government Fire and rescue incident statistics in England, fire-related fatalities and casualties for six months (January 2021-June 2021) are 249. As 193 of them are dwelling fires.

Learn more about fire-related fatalities on Fire and rescue incident statistics: England, year ending June 2021

Compartmentation Can Hold the Flames More Than 30 Minutes

The residences where we live and work spend a lot of our time. Therefore, we must make these our nests as safe as possible and take all necessary measures for our security before it is too late.
To protect your premises from fire, you can design your building to hold the flames for a particular time. And you can do this by using fire-resistant walls, doors, ceilings, etc.
A fireproof wall, door or ceiling must be designed to hold the flames for at least 30 minutes and resist fire spread between buildings.

Compartmentations in buildings

Earn Valuable Time with Compartmentation

By delaying the blaze’s spread, the compartmentation will provide valuable time. As a result, people in the building will be able to evacuate and will have a chance to survive.
If your building is without compartments, the fire will spread rapidly, and individuals in the building will most likely fall into its trap. If that happens, the chances of the sufferers’ surviving are minimal.
Compartmentation will reduce the chance of the fire escalating and becoming deadly.
If the fire grows and becomes difficult to control, it is dangerous for the people in the building, the rescue services, and nearby people.

Compartmentation Drawings

We Create Unique Compartmentation Drawings Using the Latest Technology

After seeing your building plan, we usually make a detailed inspection and measures to make compartmentation drawings possible. 
Using the latest technology available today, our specialists inspect even hard-to-reach areas in buildings such as gaps in the ceiling, elevator shafts, pipelines, etc.

Once we have identified any missing, incomplete, or inadequate structural and passive fire protection of service intrusions, we will make the most suitable, afordable and unique for the building project.
Governing and assisting documents we mainly use when creating the most suitable compartmentation drawings for your premises are: 
• Building Regulations – Approved Document B (Fire safety: Approved Document B)

• BS9999 – Code of Practice for Fire Safety in the design, management, and use of buildings 
• Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005)

Compartmentation in dwellinghouses

Compartmentation in semi-detached or terraced

– By law, semi-detached or terrace dwellinghouses are separate buildings. That is why every wall dividing the houses must be a compartment wall 
– If there is a garage attached to a dwellinghouse, it should be separated from the rest of the house by fire-resisting construction, which has at least 30 minutes of fire resistance with a self-closing fire door.
– If there is a door between a dwelling-house and the garage, the garage floor must be constructed to fall away from the door in case of fire. In addition, the construction must allow fuel spills to wash out. In this case, “the door opening should be a minimum of 100mm above the garage floor level”.

Learn more about Compartmentation in semi-detached and terraced houses following the link: Compartmentation in Dwellinghouses

A flat is not a dwellinghouse; it is a dwelling.
Provision for compartmentation in dwellings are:
– Any floor and wall separating a flat from another part of the building.
– Any wall encloses a refuse storage chamber.
– Any wall common to two or more buildings.
You must construct every floor and wall separating a flat from any other part of the building as a compartment.
If the block of flats has the floor more than 30 m above ground, you should fit them with a sprinkler system.

Learn more about compartmentation in flats at Section 7: Compartmentation/sprinklers – flats of the Fire Safety Approved Document B, Volume 1 – Dwellings following the link: Compartmentation in Dwellings.

Compartmentation in buildings other than dwellinghouses

Institutional buildings

The degree of subdivision at buildings other than dwellinghouses mainly depends on:
– the fire load in the building, affecting the potential and severity of fires, as well as the ease of evacuation
– the height to the floor of the top floor of the building
– the ability of the fire and rescue service to intervene effectively
– whether the building has a sprinkler system or not

All-purpose groups
A common wall to two or more buildings should be a compartment wall. In some cases, the building may also need a compartment floor.
If there are places on the premise with fire hazards and a high possibility of fire, they must be enclosed with fire-resisting construction.

Institutional buildings, including health care
All institutional buildings, including health care, should be constructed as compartmentation. 

Other residential buildings
All floors of other residential buildings (other than dwellinghouses) should be constructed as compartmentation. 

Non-residential buildings
If the building is an office, shop, commercial, industrial storage, etc., it must have a compartment floor and walls. But there are many rules related to this. For example, compartmentation depends on size limits, how many basements the building has, etc.

Learn more following the link: Compartmentation in buildings other than dwellings


Key Terms used on this page:

Any permanent or temporary building but not any other kind of structure or erection. A reference to a building includes a reference to part of a building.

Part of a building that encloses a room, a protected shaft or circulation space and is exposed overhead.

Compartment wall or floor
A fire-resisting wall or floor to separate one fire compartment from

Includes a dwellinghouse and a flat.

NOTE: A dwelling is a unit where one or more people live (whether or not as a sole or primary residence) in either of the following situations.
• A single person or people living together as a family.
• A maximum of six people living together as a single household, including providing care for residents.

Does not include a flat or a building containing a flat.

According to the UK government’s Fire and rescue incident statistics: England, year ending June 2021

Fire-related fatalities
are those that would not have otherwise occurred had there not been a fire. For publications, a fire-related fatality includes those that were recorded as ‘don’t know.

Non-fatal casualties
are those resulting from a fire, whether the injury was caused by the fire or not.

Fire resisting (Fire resistance)
The ability of a component or a building to satisfy, for a stated period of time, some or all of the appropriate criteria given in the relevant standard.

Fire-separating element
A compartment wall, compartment floor, cavity barrier, and construction encloses a protected escape route and/or a place of particular fire hazard.

A flat is a separate and self-contained premise constructed or adapted for residential purposes and forming part of a building from some other part of which it is divided horizontally.

Self-closing device
A device that closes a door, when open at any angle, against a door frame.

We created this page using the UK Government’s website materials related to Fire safety: Approved Document B.

Fire safety: Approved Document B