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An Introduction to NAPFIS

The role of passive fire systems within buildings is critical to the overall fire safety of the building design and consequently for its occupants.

Rigorous test procedures are required from manufacturers for these systems; ensuring the highest product quality and performance is supplied to the construction sector. However, the quality assurance process often collapses at the point of installation. This raises the question: “How can you ensure correct installation?”

There are various schemes of auditing available within the industry, offering spot checks and certification. These schemes are effective, but can be costly to the trades person and companies that install passive fire systems.

It is common knowledge that that most installers of passive fire prevention products belong to the traditional trades: carpentry, plumbing, bricklaying, painting and decorating, electrical, etc. Not only do they install passive fire protection systems in new builds, but also during the maintenance of existing properties. These trades people are often employed, and the cost to join existing auditing schemes is prohibitive.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can customers expect from a NAPFIS installer

All NAPFIS installers are required to confirm via their certification that they have read and understood the installation instructions of the products they are installing hence full installation compliance has been achieved.


Intumescence can come in various forms, in a solid state used in fire collars and wraps and a liquid state used in paints and varnish.

How does intumescent material work?

Intumescent material is an exceptional insulation material activated by temperature in excess of 120 degrees C causing an exfoliation process (growth process like shaving cream coming out of a pressurised can) which in turn creates a multiple build up of layers of the base product normally graphite creating an insulation barrier which reduces the penetration of heat from the fire source into the substrate the intumescent has been applied to, an example is intumescent steel paint.

How does intumescent work in a collar or wrap?

In a collar the intumescent is restricted in the confinement of the collar body hence when the temperature starts to increase over 120 degrees C  the PVC pipe starts to becomes soft and the pressure of the exfoliating intumescent closes the gap being formed by the melting PVC. In the wrap scenario, the wrap is placed within a brick. Block, 

How long will intumescent last?

Un-activated the life of the building it has been installed in; however regular inspection of installed products should be undertaken to ensure they are still a functional state. All Intumescent manufacturers give details on how periodic inspection should be carried out.

Why are intumescent’s used on a fire door?

Intumescent around a fire door (both long edges and the head of the door) when activated by temperatures in excess of 120 degrees C will exfoliate filling the gap between the door and the frame giving protection to both the door edge and the frame edge adding a further 10-15 minutes of burn to any bona-fide FD20 fire door making them an FD30.

Why should Fire Doors be Inspected?

Fire Doors are a very important part of Passive Fire Control they are singularly the most abused safety element in any building. For a fire door to work it has to be in the closed position, once it is in the closed position all the other elements of the door can function giving strength to the door whilst it is protecting.   

How should a Fire Door be Inspected?

Part of the inspection of any fire door is ‘’Does it close? And does it stay in the closed position?’’ so every time you pass through a fire door you should be able to assess whether it is going to work by knowing it closes and latches or held in place via the automatic door closer. At least once a year a full inspection of all the functioning components should be checked ie hinges, intumescent strip, locks / latches, glazed area, spyhole, letter box and the body of the door. 

What size gap should the threshold of a Fire Door be?

It is recommended that the gap should be 3mm or less however with the varying situations with floor covering and deviations in flooring, a practical recommendation is 5-10mm.   

Why Should I Use a NAPFIS member to undertake Passive Fire Control Work?

NAPFIS members undertake in writing (via the certificate of installation) that products have been installed following the manufacturer’s instructions. 

Are there any Guarantees when using Intumescent Products?

Manufacturers undertake a BS/EN test regime to cover the functionality of the particular product they are selling. Testing cannot cover all scenarios the result are very much indicative of a typical situation that a product may be installed in.  I guess the best guarantee is that the product will work as close to the test regime providing the product has be installed to manufacturers instructions. 

Is NAPFIS installers work Guaranteed?

Napfis installers confirm via their certificate of installation that the product has been installed to manufacturer’s instructions. 

How can I make sure that what I’m doing is correct?

Always ask questions, always challenge, if in doubt ask Napfis. 

Are there any App’s that can help NAPFIS members do their job better?

Yes, a door survey App and a Fire Stopping App.

What does Passive Fire Control really do?

Saves lives and save Property.

What is more important, A Smoke Detector or Passive Fire Control?

Both are important one warns you and the other protects you.