What is compartmentation ?
Compartmentation is part of passive fire protection. It consists of dividing a building into several zones in order to isolate the flames, heat and smoke to the area where the fire broke out. It thus facilitates the evacuation of the occupants and the intervention of the fire service. Like smoke extraction, it also limits damage caused by flames to the building.
How does compartmentation work ?
Walls, floors and ceilings must be made of fireproof material, the degree to which is defined by regulation. However, parts of the building correspond to each other by multiple means : doors and partitions of course, but also the false ceilings or the technical ducts passing through the walls.
A good compartmentation reconstitutes the degree of fire resistance of the walls and must therefore caulk these elements likely to decrease fire resistance. The slightest flaw would make it ineffective.
Fire doors and firebreaks, draughtproofing (caulking), partitions or fire dampers are some of the elements used in compartmentation.
Regulations related to compartmentation
Regulations, in particular the building code, impose a degree of fire resistance that differs according to the type of building, occupancy and activity : establishment open to the public, high-rise building, etc.
It is preferable to implement the compartmentation measures during the preliminary design of construction so that the partitioning is as logical as possible with respect to the activity or equipment at the premises.