When the subject of firestopping comes up in a conversation, most people in the structured cabling industry conjure up thoughts of red caulk smeared all over neatly installed cables. In some cases the thoughts and memories are of a hassle rather than of satisfaction with a job well done. In reality, firestopping is almost always a simple process when it is thought out ahead of time rather than after a cable installation is complete. Taking time to plan for firestopping allows cabling design and installation professionals to create openings that are easily sealed. The textbook definition of firestopping is the process of installing third-party tested and listed materials into openings in fire-rated barriers to restore hourly fire-resistance ratings. A wall or floor may have such a fire-resistance rating, and when an opening is created for cable, conduit or any other service element, that barrier's fire-resistance rating is compromised.
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A Look at the UL Guide Information for Through-Penetration Firestop Systems
Penetration firestopping systems and fire resistive joint systems are a passive means of fire protection. There is no movement or activation required. These passive systems are mainly used to compartmentalize a fire and keep it from spreading for a period of time long enough that occupants can evacuate the building and so firefighters can perform initial lifesaving tasks. Modern buildings are full of various services that travel from room to room throughout a building. Electrical cables, data cables, and plumbing pipes are few of the items that pass through walls as they travel through a building.
This category covers firestop systems, which are specific constructions consisting of a wall or floor assembly, a penetrating item passing through an opening in the wall or floor assembly, and the materials designed to prevent the spread of fire through the openings. The specifications for materials in a firestop system and the assembly of the materials are details that directly relate to the established ratings. Information concerning these details is described in the individual systems.