As a business owner, you need to take the appropriate steps to ensure the safety of your employees and the security of the building. As part of this, you want the best possible passive fire protection system installed. This system must meet building code fire protection requirements and be compliant with North American codes and standards. Learn the difference between a fire partition and fire barrier, so you can choose the right one.
Fire Barrier vs. Fire Partition
People often use the terms “fire partition” and “fire barrier” interchangeably. Although the two are both types of passive fire protection systems, when it comes to building code fire protection requirements, they each have a different International Building Code or IBC definition. This means they must have a minimum fire protection rating.
When referring to a fire barrier, this serves as a type of structure that has at least a one-hour fire resistance rating. Based on the occupancy type and number of people working in the building, you can choose a barrier that provides up to four hours of protection. For instance, if you have a large organization, it would take longer to guide everyone outside in the event of a fire. In that case, you need the extra time to ensure all your employees, contractors, and visitors exit the building safely.
In comparison, a fire partition is more like a wall. However, it performs the same task of confining a fire, giving people sufficient time to leave the building and prevent as little damage to the structure as possible. As for the IBC requirement, a partition must also have a minimum of a one-hour fire rating although, for some occupancies, the code allows for a 30-minute rating.
Allow Us to Help
If you need help identifying the type of fire barrier or fire partition you need to stay compliant with IBC requirements, contact us at DuraSystems. As a leader in passive fire protection systems, we will determine what you need based on specific factors. We offer a full line of cost effective superior quality passive fire protection systems.