Product specifications designed to offer passive fire protection are still being routinely altered, despite the potentially catastrophic consequences, according to fire, thermal and acoustic insulation manufacturer Promat UK.
Specifications are often altered to save money or due to a lack of technical understanding, says Promat UK. It is supporting architects, designers and manufacturers with a campaign to raise awareness of the significant risks of changing even the tiniest detail in the specification of elements that are designed to protect lives and assets.
At the heart of this is its ‘Specified for a Reason’ message, which has now been registered as a trademark by Promat UK and serves as a reminder to everyone in the supply chain that the design and configuration of fire protection measures simply must not be changed.
Ian Cowley, regional director (UK and Scandinavia) at Promat UK said: “For passive fire protection to deliver on its promise, it needs to be purpose-designed and applied in accordance with certified test conditions and data, and sometimes as a complete system. All the elements and components are chosen to work together to achieve the level of fire resistance required. Change one element – such as the glass type or glazing beads in a fire-resistant glazed partition – and the finished product may fail to meet the intended specification with potentially catastrophic consequences.
“Altering the specification on any aspect of a design is nothing new, of course, and it is often very well-intentioned, but when lives are at stake it is too big a risk to take.”
Promat UK is working to ensure clients and specifiers can have total peace of mind when specifying fire resistant materials. This includes practical guidance via a programme of extensive technical support, which includes RIBA-approved CPD seminars for building architects and support at the earliest design stage
Picture caption – Inside the Promat UK production plant at Heywood near Manchester