Properly filling construction gaps and blank openings in walls and floors with sealant is absolutely essential to prevent the spread of fire and/or noxious gases. We offer many different varieties of fire caulk and sealing products, designed to adhere to a variety of materials including glass, metal, non-oily wood, plastics and rubber. Silicone and latex caulks, putty, and expanding foam options are all available, and while tubes are the most common dispersal method for small scale operations (often via a caulking gun), we also have a selection of buckets for spray applications.
The Rules of Keeping Fire at Bay with Sealant
Fire can do monumental and irreparable damage to any structure, and unfortunately it happens way more often than it should. One of the leading causes of severe fire is factors that allow it to easily spread from room to room within a structure until it eventually engulfs the entire thing. Simple steps can help prevent serious tragedy, and one of those steps is using fire caulk, sealant, or mortar.
A firestop is any protection system that seals openings and joints so the fire cannot permeate through a wall, floor, or ceiling. These materials serve to reinforce the wall or floor the cable is going through, slowing the spread of fire by filling any empty spaces with fire-retardant materials. Additionally, it is important to use fire stoppers because most building fire safety plans actually require it. This is not somewhere to cut corners.
5 Tips for Fire Safety Using Caulk, Sealant, or Mortar
- Know which material which best adhere to the space you are working with. We offer different varieties designed to attach to glass, metal, wood, plastics, and rubber. We also offer silicone and latex caulks, putty, and foam.
- Before you purchase your firestop, contact your local inspectors and fire marshals to make sure that you are using the right materials to meet codes in your area. This will both ensure that you are using the best material for the job, and that you won't get any fines down the road.
- Record your job, especially if you are working at an industrial site. This way, if anyone comes along after you and tampers with the fire stopper, you have evidence of the work you did and that it was in fact up to code.
- Never use an excess of caulk, sealant or mortar, because not only will it be unsightly, but it will also have a negative impact on the cables. Most firestops are designed to expand to fit the size of the hole once they are in place, so don't overdo it.
- Always take the time to read manuals so that you know exactly how to handle the product you are using for fire safety. Does anything need to be added to the mix? How long does it take to dry? How much is needed per square inch? All these questions can be answered before you start the job so that you don't end up wasting materials and time.
Take a look at where your cables are and what kind of risk the area carries. After that you can decide which product would be your best bet. To protect your cables further, you may also want to look into cable sleeving, because many different kinds offer heat-resistant and flame-retardant properties, which can help keep your electronics from literally going up in smoke.