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Cavity Barriers

Cavity barriers stop a fire spreading through cavities in ceilings, walls or a building’s facade and are an important part of your fire safety strategy.

When a fire breaks out, containment is critical. Slowing the spread using cavity fire-stopping solutions can prevent significant damage by giving fire and emergency services a head start. It also allows the building to be evacuated safely and quickly.

What are Cavity Barriers?

A cavity barrier is a fire safety component designed to restrict the spread of fire and smoke within concealed spaces or voids within a building. It is typically installed within cavities or voids that are hidden behind walls, floors, or ceilings.

Cavity barriers are typically made of fire-resistant materials and are installed to create a physical barrier within the cavity or void. They can be constructed from materials such as fire-resistant boards, intumescent strips, or mineral wool insulation.

According to Approved Document B, cavity barriers should be installed:

  • Around openings such as windows, doors and exit/entry point for services at the edges of cavities
  • Between an external cavity wall and compartment floor and compartment wall
  • Between an internal cavity wall and compartment floor, compartment wall, other wall or door assembly forming a fire-resistant barrier

Cavity Fire Barrier and the Regulations

Cavity barrier installation isn’t just nice to have. In the UK, it’s a legal requirement.

  • BS9991 requires fire protection measures like compartmentation and fire-resisting walls and floors in residential buildings. It applies to both new builds and refurbishment projects.
  • Approved Document B Volume 2 covers fire protectiion measures for non-residential buildings like schools, offices and hospitals, providing 30 minutes of fire protection and 15 minutes of fire insulation.

Cavity barrier

Cavity barrier installation is complex and should be installed by a third party accredited installer to ensure compliance.

Fire-resisting cavity barriers should be installed to create separate compartments so fire, smoke and gas can’t spread from one location to another.

According to Approved Document B cavity barriers should be fitted:

  • At the junction of a compartment wall, where the floor and exterior cavity wall meet, unless the concrete is a minimum of 75mm thick or has two masonry leaves.
  • At the junction of interiors, compartment walls, compartment floors and any other door or wall acting as a fire barrier
  • Thermal expansion, settlement and sway should all be considered part of a professional cavity barrier installation. Over time, any building deformations could negatively impact the performance of a cavity barrier.

Need some assistance with cavity barriers on your next project? Get in touch to find out we can help.

Cavity Barrier Inspection and Maintenance

In new build properties, cavity barriers should be incorporated into the design during the planning stage.

On the other hand, older buildings can be found to be honeycombed with concealed cavities that would allow the rapid acceleration of fire and smoke, which is why fire protection measures must be adequately inspected for any refurbishment programme.

During a building’s lifetime, the effectiveness of cavity barriers can be compromised by building shrinkage, third-party damage or original poor installation meaning that your fire protection could fail when you need to depend on it most.

Our experienced team can survey your building and provide a report on the deficiencies they identify along with advice on the remedial action that should be taken to achieve compliance.

What is the difference between a fire barrier and a cavity barrier?

Fire stops and cavity barriers are phrases that are often used interchangeably but there is a difference between the two:

  • Fire Barriers are designed to achieve the same integrity and insulation resistance periods as the compartment wall or floor it is fitted within. As an example, if a fire barrier is fitter within a wall that is design to withstand fire integrity and insulation for a period of 90-mins, then the fire barrier must achieve the same.
  • Cavity barriers need to achieve 30mins fire integrity and 15mins thermal insulation.

Any fire-stopping measures should be fitted by Third Party Accredited professional installers in accordance with the fire strategy of the building for fire resistance and insulation.

Speak to us about the right fire-stopping or cavity barrier solution for your project and how we can help.

Why choose Gunfire for Cavity Barrier Installation?

Gunfire have been firestopping installers and specialists for over 22 years. All our works are certified by through our Third Party Accredited Schemes and we offer the following services:

  • Open-state ventilated fireproof cavity barriers
  • Perimeter and fire-stop cavity barriers
  • Cavity barriers for cladding

Our cavity barrier solutions are designed to seal voids in the building envelope, providing life-saving protection.

With over 22 years delivering passive fire protection and an independent Compliance Team of 10 managers who check all our installations, you can rely on the high quality of our work.

We have installed life-saving passive fire protection systems in a wide range of settings including schools, universities, hospitals, commercial properties and residential buildings (high, medium and low-rise). And with the largest field-based Compliance Team in the industry, our unique approach means safety and quality are always top priority.

Third-Party Accreditations

At Gunfire, we know that trust is everything when it comes to selecting a partner for your fire protection business. That’s why we’re committed to providing dependable and precise services that you can rely on. Our dedication to quality is evident in the third-party accreditations we’ve earned in the industry. You can rest assured that with Gunfire, you’re in good hands.