Jul 8, 2021 6:10:00 AM / by Freya Stevenson

When thinking about your facilities barrier management, firestopping installation may not be a big item on your radar. Fire walls, partitions, and smoke barriers are designed to help prevent the spread of both fire and smoke in the event of a fire emergency. However, too often these walls may become damaged from penetrating items. Therefore, firestopping installation has become a key component to a building’s over all fire and life safety system.

Most Common Firestopping / Firewall Issues Include:

  • Incomplete Firestopping
  • Mixing Manufacturer’s Products
  • Improper Installation – Firestop Caulk

Firestop Installation materials are used to seal up any spaces that surround plastic pipes or wires that may be penetrating walls, ceilings or even the floor. These items will melt or change shape during a fire, which is why some firestop materials will expand in the presence of heat. This swelling action seals and stops the spread of fire and smoke to other rooms and even floors within a building. However, you have to make sure you are choosing the right firestop system for penetrating items, in order for it to do its job in the event of an emergency.

Common Firestopping Installation Materials Include:


Composite sheets are usually a 3’ x 4’ sheets of 28 ga. sheet metal, coated with intumescent material, laminated to aluminum foil and wire mesh. Used for large openings, these sheets are excellent for multiple penetrating item systems.


Bricks / plugs are made of urethane foam with graphite filler as the intumescing agent, and are used as blocks in a large and small openings.


Mortars are a perlite, foam or vermiculite concrete mortars that expand upon curing to lock themselves in place.


Pillows are typically made from unexpanded vermiculite, mineral wool coated with an intumescent spray, and packaged in “bags/pillows”. These firestop products might be protected with stainless steel mesh, in some cases. They also must be stacked to the exact dimension shown in the tested and listed system drawings.


These systems are very detailed, with a special insert for each penetrating item. The multiple inserts are surrounded by a steel perimeter cabinet, compressed with steel assemblies. They are great systems for the client who wants both aesthetically pleasing and practical application.


Putties are hand applied intumescent sealants, which are great for hard-to-reach areas, but typically limited to metal piping and cables.

SEALANTS (Silicone, Latex, Intumescent)

Firestop sealant materials are used in combustible penetrations, such as plastic piping, multiple cables, and sleeved piping.


Firestop spray products are used to increase protection over sealant systems in joint systems such as “top of wall” and perimeter fire containment systems. These systems are applied very thin, to about 1/8” thick for an effective seal.


Wraps are “rolls” or “strips” of intumescent material preformed in thick, thin, wide, or less wide strips. These strips expand 10 – 20 times their original state.

According to the International Fire Code (IFC), the International Building Code (IBC) as well as the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), require routine maintenance of a facility’s fire barrier walls. Each state walls should be properly repaired when damaged, altered, breached or penetrated. Any penetrations found should be repaired with approved methods capable of resisting the passage of smoke and fire.

Looking for firestopping installation services for your facility’s fire barriers?  Our FM Approved firestop contractor can perform a Firestop installation in your building, which includes:

  • Installation of UL classified firestop system based on SOC
  • Preparation of submittal documents for AHJ submission
  • Master report with digital documentation listing UL classified firestop system installed available via our web-based inspection software, LSS SiteSurveyor

For more information, Contact Us Here or call 888.675.4519

Freya Stevenson

Written by Freya Stevenson

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