4 Reasons Fire Protection Needs to Happen at Design Phase


Intumescent coatings are an essential component of multi-story structural steel fire protection.  

They allow the steel to remain structurally stable for up to 120 minutes during a fire which in turn protects the occupants evacuating and the emergency personnel attending. 

Like many things in life, and especially construction, failing to plan is planning to fail. In the case of fire protection of the building superstructure, your absolute best bet is to incorporate the protection plan as early as possible into the design phase to avoid design conflicts, cost variations and on site failures.  

Here are 4 of the most important reasons why…  


1. It will save you money 

And possibly a lot of it. 

Working with someone with expertise in their field early in the design phase is always beneficial. This applies to intumescent coatings as well.  

But with the Fireshield team as an additional consultant, there is the opportunity for the intumescent coatings to slot in with the design from the beginning. On the other hand, finding out at the end of the design process that the fire protection required for consent has not been fully considered can have a knock-on effect and could possibly entail backtracking and costly hours of wasted work. 

In extreme cases, not having a clear plan or understanding of the products could result in actual physical work taking place with the incorrect products or applications. These sorts of scenarios can multiply product and labour costs, completely blowing out budgets. 


 2. It will avoid delays 

It goes without saying that having to break down a structure or redo plans adds time to a project.  

Being able to include the intumescent package (including loading schedule, marked-up plan and specification) in the building consent package gives everyone a clear idea about the project going forward. If changes need to be made to the design to accommodate the fire protection, they can be done before consent is given. 


3. You’ll sleep better at night  

Anyone responsible for designing a structure realises that the responsibility is huge. There’s a lot to consider and a lot of pieces at play that eventually must come together to result in a building that meets or exceeds all requirements, is fit for purpose and is safe. Making fire protection an early priority ticks a major part of this off the list. If you have experts on board, you’ll have extra peace of mind knowing that they know what they’re doing and they’re doing what they do best.  


4. It can make your project really efficient  

Sorting out a fire protection plan early not only prevents unexpected costs but also avoids delays and minimises your risk. It also gives you the opportunity to incorporate the expertise of fire protection professionals who really understand the design and construction industry as a whole. Choosing a company that provides a holistic, detailed service is perhaps the factor that will most ensure how smoothly and efficiently your project runs. 

One can imagine the difference between buying a product from a sales rep or working with the manufacturers themselves to develop a plan that will not only comply with the regulations but also consider the best systems for various construction methods and methods of product application. The quality assurance of the latter is by far preferred.   

At Fireshield, we have a leading Fire Engineer and Architectural Designers in-house and available to provide advice and documentation for all projects. Given our individual expertise and previous design backgrounds we can foresee the possible problems on-site, and engineer solutions early on. 

Our holistic and consultancy-style approach means that we can work with and satisfy all the members of the project team – from the architect through to the main contractor.  

Also important to keep in mind is that coatings and fire regulations change. What you thought was up to scratch previously may not meet the mark now. And let’s face it: fire protection isn’t exactly the most glamorous topic to keep track of. But because it’s so important, it makes sense to hand it over to experts who not only keep on top of all the regulation adjustments but ensure that the skeleton of the building is protected so that the beautiful architectural features (i.e., the exciting parts) are never jeopardised. 

At Fireshield, we are specialists in intumescent coating specification, development, testing, and specific design for large and small projects. We develop, test, and manufacture our own products, as well as supply products from other leading manufacturers around the globe and sell them locally. 

Get in touch with us to discuss how we can work together on your next project.