Quality Safe installations
4fire are based in Mansfield, Nottingham and specialise in fire protection, with a turnover of £1million and 14 employees within the workforce. The company provides quality safe installations as a cost effective solution to passive fire protection for building requirements. As a member of FIRAS they are a third party approved company ensuring the highest quality, passive fire protection installations. This enables 4fire's clients to have security in knowing that the systems they install will not fail in a fire.
The company have been dealing with Hilti for 3 years and continue to purchase Hilti products due to the quality, technical support and advanced testing on firestop products.
Sound safety and engineering judgements are crucial
4fire embarked upon a strategy to bring forward the importance of using third party accredited products and installers to main contractors. The company began this process by trying at tender stage to influence product specifications for products tested to BS476 part 20/22. Hilti products all meet the requirements of this British Standard however they also have a number of other tests and approvals relevant to the particular application in which they are used, such as mould resistance and movement capability. Furthermore, all products are tested by a relevant accredited third party, such as LPCB giving reassurance that the quality and performance has been checked. This was important as many specifications at tender stage do not take into account other relevant factors, i.e. suitable elastomeric properties of products or the ability to stop smoke. Many 'head of wall' and curtain wall to slab edge protection specifications request the use of a dry fit mineral fibre system, which does not allow for thermal movement and in most cases does not provide a smoke seal. As smoke is the biggest killer in the event of a fire, this should be a deciding factor in specification and not just integrity against the fire itself.
Justin Scottmurphy from 4fire commented, "Additionally, method statements are still being produced recommending the use of sand/cement mortar to make good builders work after installation of services. Document B is very clear that this is not a suitable solution as regular mortar reduces in size after curing and provides no smoke seal. Also, due to the nature of the product, it does not allow thermal movement, so with expansion and contraction rates of buildings and services being different, this type of detail becomes very ineffective and does not provide the protection required in order to preserve life and property."
Another major reason that Hilti appealed to 4fire is the facility to produce engineering judgements for the full range of firestop products. Standard details can be drawn up for any application recommending the correct products to give the required fire rating. This service is invaluable to 4fire and their clients, many of whom do not have large technical departments with the capability to produce technical drawing.
Firestop products are quick to install, enhancing productivity
Hilti's solutions have been benefiting and adding value to 4fire through the excellent design solutions, which enables the firestop product range to be compatible for all types of details, providing effective firestop solutions. Justin Scottmurphy added, "As Hilti firestop systems are easy to use and quick to install, productivity is higher than using other manufacturer's products."
Additionally, because of the way that Hilti products are developed and designed, a lot of on-site Health and Safety risks are removed for 4fire, particularly in relation to CoSHH and work activity. This means that a safer installation can be achieved.
The combination of high quality, third party approved products installed by a third party approved contractor not only ensures the best possible fire protection for the customers but it also means that the liability for the customer is reduced greatly. 4fire can offer peace of mind to there customers that they are acting responsibly and ensuring the best possible protection in the event of a fire.
Bright future for 4fire and Hilti partnership This has become the basis for all firestop installations at 4fire. Justin Scottmurphy, commented, "I have worked with Hilti for ten years, with regards to firestop, tools and fixings. Upon formation of 4fire, it was natural to proceed with Hilti as our sole supplier, as from experience these products are the market leaders. Hilti products do out-perform and out-last any competitor's products." In summary the superior test data, advanced product range and the technical support provided by the Hilti firestop team is extremely beneficial to 4fire.