What is Fireproofing Designed For?

Without intact and undisturbed passive fire protection an ominous chain of events begin to achieve their destructive potential. A fire ignites, the steel heats up, loses it strength, structural stability wanes, active systems fail, resulting in greater fire risk to all.

Fireproofing is not designed to prevent the spread of a fire as much as it is designed to protect the structure of the building. Protecting the structural integrity of the building is critical, not only to minimize the loss of life and reduce the threat of collapse, but to provide the stability that all other systems, specifically active systems, require to function properly.

To be as clear as possible, by providing this crucial fire protection there are several positive outcomes by allowing these fire resistive materials to work:

  1. The occupants have more time to get out of the structure.
  2. First responders have more time to enter the structure and in a safer environment.
  3. Active systems (alarms, sprinklers, etc.) will not be compromised and will remain functional to                         perform their fire safety functions.
  4. The structure itself might be saved which reduces the potential for legal issues having to do with                   liability for loss of life and reduced construction costs.

However, if the structural stability of a building cannot be maintained, a downward spiral begins. In fact,  all of the benefits mentioned above will turn from a positive into a negative.

When passive fire protection accomplishes its goal of structural stability, then it also accomplishes the following goals (which are supported by codes, material manufacturer’s guidelines, as well as local building and fire officials):

  • Allowing more time for the buildings occupants to leave the structure safely;
  • Allowing first responders more time to enter the structure and in a safer environment;
  • Reducing the potential for liability damage, legal liabilities, loss of life, and reduced reconstruction costs;
  • Reduce potential property damage, and;
  • Increase property values.


The ultimate goal of SFRM is to provide structural stability such that other systems, sprinkler, detection or communications will work. So the next time you ask, “Why do I have to fix the fireproofing, I’ve got sprinklers and fire alarms?” there should be more questions. If the structure fails, the sprinklers and fire alarms fail as well. Just fix the fireproofing.


Fireproofing Challenge

Development of UFP

Cost of Fireproofing