Understanding your product options, the cost to consider and the importance they play in your building.
When it comes to architectural fire barrier systems, there are four main categories:
- Mineral Wool & Sealant
- Hybrid Barriers
- Fire Blankets
- Fire Rated Foams
And while these categories cover a wide range of products, they also cover a very wide price range.
Besides material composition and product design, the main points of differentiation between these categories comes down to:
- Joint size specifications
- Movement range requirements
- The fire rating – 1, 2, 3, 4 hour
So why the significant range in cost?
When asking this question it’s important to consider the holistic cost of your blanket: more complex install means being on-site longer and paying your team more. Based on the traffic level and load rating of your install environment, the joint system might require a cover plate as well.
We want to camp on this point for just a moment. For many fire barrier manufacturers, the first and often only word out of their mouth seems to be: FOAM. One look at the cost chart above and you can see why – foams are the most-expensive.
Don’t get us wrong, fire-rated foams can be an excellent option in certain applications, especially in vertical joints. However, foams aren’t the best fit for every application. For instance, in horizontal applications there’s risk of puncture and damage, dirt and debris accumulation, water retention, etc., Point being: A one-trick-pony product like Foams may not be your only or best choice.
While the products and prices vary between each category, one thing remains the same…fire barriers play an extremely vital role in your building’s line of fire protection.
First and foremost, the fire barrier must meet the architectural specification, as well as the required fire rating in hours. Next, it needs to work for your jobsite and your team.
If you’re crunched for time, you need something that’s easy to install. Our Fireline™ 140 fire barrier uses spring-actioned technology to hold the barrier in place meaning you don’t have to worry about sticky adhesives or mechanical fastening within the substrate. Plus, it has patented male/female splices that eliminate the need for complex heat welding or fire caulking.
If scheduling isn’t lining up quite right, you HAVE to find a way to keep the fire protection dry…unless you have the Water Guard® Fire Barrier which is the only fire blanket with a patented UL 2079 rated water proof design.
And so on and so forth. There is a lot to consider when selecting the right fire barrier for your project, but when it comes to life safety products it’s worth the extra consideration to feel at ease that your building and the people inside are protected.
To learn more about architectural fire barriers and their importance within your building, download our free white paper – Life Safety: Fire Barriers are a First Line of Defense.