What Is Active and Passive Fire Protection

There are three important types of fire protection:

  • Active: Detection and Alarm
  • Automatic Suppression
  • PFP – Passive Fire Protection

What is Active (Point detection) :

A system or device that is designed to alert occupants of a fire. 

Detection and Alarm (active protection) – Active fire detection, this is for early detection of a fire. Fire detection systems are needed so that automatic or manual fire suppression will be initiated; any other fire protection systems will be activated (i.e. automatic fire doors, notification of local fire department, internal alarm system); and occupants will have time to move to safe locations, typically outside of the building.

Automatic Suppression (active protection) – For nearly a half century, automatic fire sprinklers have been an important single system for automatic control of hostile fires in buildings. Other automatic extinguishing systems (i.e. carbon dioxide, dry chemical, clean system agents (halon replacement), and high expansion foam), may be used to provide protection for specific portions of a building where they are particularly suited.


What is Fire Stopping (PFP – Passive Fire Protection) ?

A fire stopping is a fire protection system made of various components used to seal openings and joints in fire-resistance rated wall or floor assemblies.

Compartmentalization (passive protection) – To contain a fire in one area, to prevent the fire from spreading from one room to another. Barriers, such as walls, partitions, and floors that separate building spaces. These barriers also delay or prevent fire from expanding from one area to another. The effectiveness of a barrier is dependent upon its fire resistance, the details of construction, and the penetrations such as doors, windows, ducts, pipe chases, and electrical raceways. Although the hourly ratings of fire endurance do not always represent the actual time the barrier can withstand a building fire, un-penetrated fire-rated barriers seem to perform rather well. On the other hand, it is quite common for fire-rated barriers to fail because of non or incorrectly fire stopped penetrations.