The Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP) has just published two new Technical Guidance Documents (TDG 14 and TDG 15) to complement TDG 11, which was first issued 12-months ago.
TDG 11 was designed to provide guidance on the process of protecting structural steelwork from fire using intumescent coatings. Its prime objective was to establish procedures for the specification, application and control of intumescent coatings on-site. Now, with the introduction of TDG 14 and 15, codes of practice are also in place for the on-site installation and inspection of board systems and sprayed non-reactive coatings.
Passive fire protection systems, as intumescents, boards and sprays are known, are installed on or around the structural steel elements during the construction phase. Although they do not themselves fulfil any structural function, they can be considered to be part of the fabric of the building.
All three ASFP TDGs have been produced to enable specifiers and installers of such fire protection systems to ensure that they are fitted in a manner that assures their effectiveness should the structural steel become subject to fire. They describe the specification and installation of products manufactured by members of ASFP, but their prime objective is to establish procedures for the effective application and control of these on site. In conjunction with the appropriate product manufacturers instructions, these procedures will serve as a guide to determine that the required level of fire protection is provided for the structure and will provide evidence to satisfy the responsible person that the installation has been correctly carried out.
The importance of fire safety is emphasised under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRO) in which the responsible person (who may be the owner, designer or architect, specifier or contractor) is responsible for ensuring that the structure is fully compliant with all known, current legislation appertaining to the fire protection of the building.
The TDGs remind the reader of his/her statutory duties arising from Building Regulation 16B and Appendix G of Approved Document B. The Construction Design & Management 2007 Regulations urges a prudent approach to the selections of fire protection product and on-site installers. Regulation 16B requires that those making risk assessments (as required by the RRO) are provided with all relevant detail of the fire protection as selected and installed. This can only be done if effective records are made in the selection, purchasing and installation stages of providing fire protection measures.