What’s the Difference Between Fire Stopping, Fire Blocking, and Draft Stopping

Fire Stopping: Fire stopping is all about preventing the spread of fire and smoke between different areas in a building. It involves using special materials and techniques to seal off openings and gaps in walls, floors, and ceilings. These materials are fire-resistant, and when installed properly, they create a barrier that stops flames and smoke from moving from one part of the building to another. The goal of fire stopping is to compartmentalize the building, so if a fire starts in one room, it doesn’t easily spread to other areas, giving people more time to escape and firefighters more time to control the fire. Typically comprising of a combination of mineral wool insulation, intumescent material, and a collar or sleeve.

Fire Blocking: Fire blocking is focused on creating internal barriers within walls to contain the spread of fire. It’s usually done inside wall cavities and between floors. Fire blocking involves using specific fire-resistant materials to fill any gaps or spaces in the walls that could allow flames and smoke to move between different floors or sections of the building. By installing fire blocking, it ensures that if a fire breaks out inside the walls, it doesn’t quickly travel throughout the structure, reducing the risk of extensive damage and improving overall safety. Think of fire blocking being a more substantial material that would take more time to burn and be sturdy. Insulation is allowed if installed in such a manner to be securely held in place

Draft Stopping: Draft stopping is more about preventing the movement of air, smoke, and flames through small gaps and openings in a building. It’s not just about fire safety but also energy efficiency and comfort. Draft stopping involves sealing gaps around things like pipes, ducts, cables, and other penetrations that pass through walls, floors, or ceilings. By sealing these gaps, draft stopping helps control air movement, maintains indoor temperature, and prevents smoke and fire from easily spreading from one area to another. Think of draft stopping being a lighter material such as sheetrock or insulation.

In summary, fire stopping focuses on preventing fire and smoke from spreading between different parts of a building, fire blocking creates internal barriers inside walls to contain fires, and draft stopping seals gaps and openings to control air movement and limit the spread of smoke and flames. All these measures work together to enhance fire safety in buildings, protecting people and property in the event of a fire.

Author: Joe Kelly

Website builder and podcaster for people who dig construction 🔨 🚧

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