The Best Ducting for Fire Resistance

The Best Ducting for Fire Resistance

The Best Ducting for Fire Resistance

Having fire-resistant ducting is critical in preventing any further damage and mitigating the spread of a fire.

In this blog, we will aim to show you the best ducting for fire resistance.

To prevent mould, fresh air should always be introduced into your dwelling daily, as it helps to regulate temperature and reduce condensation. Introducing fresh air can be as simple as having a ventilation routine, or installing extractors or PIV systems.

To prevent mould, fresh air should always be introduced into your dwelling daily, as it helps to regulate temperature and reduce condensation. Introducing fresh air can be as simple as having a ventilation routine, or installing extractors or PIV systems.

Having an understanding of the uses and reasoning for ducting can be just the information you require in order to get the correct ducting to fit your needs. Knowing how their differences can save you any potential mistakes if you choose to set it up yourself.

I-Sells is here to provide the answers you require whilst also supplying you with all the information you need to combat mould and have a well-ventilated home.

Can ducting make a fire worse?

Can ducting make a fire worse?

In some cases, yes. However, this is only in certain circumstances. If your ducting is made from plastic, it will melt and give the fire additional fuel to continue burning with, this can also allow the fire to spread to other areas.

However, if you have metal ducting the either isn’t sealed properly, or does not have fire dampers, the fire has the potential to enter the ducting. If it is a large fire, it will be able to travel the length of the ducting, and have a supply of oxygen from the outdoor vent.

As a result, the fire would be able to burn for longer, spreading further and becoming more difficult to extinguish.

How to reduce fire risks around ducting

Duct Maintenance and Cleaning

  • Regular Cleaning: Accumulation of dust, grease, and debris in the ductwork can act as fuel for a potential fire. Schedule regular cleanings by qualified professionals to remove these combustible materials.
  • Cooking Vent Cleaning: Kitchen exhaust ducts are especially prone to grease build-up. More frequent cleaning of these ducts is recommended to minimize fire risk.

Reduce Ignition Sources

  • Avoid Storing Flammable Materials Near Ducts: Storing flammable materials like paint, solvents, or cleaning supplies close to ductwork creates a potential ignition source in case of a leak or accidental contact.
  • Keep Open Flames Away From Ducts: Open flames from fireplaces, grills, or portable heaters should be kept at a safe distance from duct openings to prevent accidental ignition.

The best ducting for fire resistance

The best ducting for fire resistance

When it comes to fire resistance in ducting, metal ducting is the best for fire resistance. Here’s why:

  • Superior Fire Barrier: Metal, typically galvanized steel or stainless steel, offers a significant physical barrier against flames and smoke compared to flexible ductwork materials like plastic or fabric. This can delay fire spread and allow more time for occupants to evacuate in case of a fire.
  • Regulation Compliance: Many building codes and fire safety regulations mandate the use of fire-resistant duct materials in specific locations within a building. Metal ducting often complies with these regulations better than flexible alternatives.
  • Reduced Fire Risk: Metal itself is not combustible, unlike some flexible duct materials. This eliminates the risk of the ductwork itself contributing to a fire.

While all metal ducting offers some level of fire resistance, galvanized steel is a common and cost-effective option for many applications. However, for the most fire-resistant solution, stainless steel is the preferred choice, especially in areas with extremely high fire risks:

  • High-Heat Environments: Stainless steel can withstand higher temperatures than galvanized steel before succumbing to fire damage. This makes it ideal for exhaust ducts carrying hot fumes or areas near significant heat sources.
  • Corrosive Environments: Stainless steel offers superior corrosion resistance compared to galvanized steel. This can be crucial in areas with high humidity or exposure to corrosive chemicals, which could degrade the fire resistance properties of galvanized steel over time.

Additional fire protection for ducting

To further protect your ducting in the case of a fire, you can incorporate the following solutions:

  • Fire Dampers: Even with metal ducting, incorporating fire dampers into the ventilation system is essential. These dampers automatically close in case of a fire, preventing flames and smoke from spreading through the ductwork to other parts of the building.
  • Duct Sealing: Proper sealing of all duct joints and connections is crucial to maintain the fire resistance of the entire system. Leaks in the ductwork can compromise the fire barrier and allow flames or smoke to bypass the metal.

By using metal ducting, especially stainless steel in high-risk areas, and incorporating fire dampers and proper sealing practices, you can significantly enhance the fire safety of your building’s ventilation system.

Always consult with qualified fire safety professionals and adhere to local building codes to ensure your ductwork meets the necessary fire resistance standards.

Can metal ducting be affected by fire at all?

Although metal ducting has a superior durability against fire and extreme heat, it does not last forever. Continued exposure to excessively high heat can eventually impact the ducting. The likely outcome is that it would be warped.

Is it better to use metal ducting for a house?

In most houses, metal ducting is generally preferred for the main supply runs that distribute conditioned air from the HVAC unit to various rooms. Here are the main rooms you would typically find metal ducting in:

  • Living Rooms: As a large and often centrally located space, living rooms typically receive conditioned air from a main supply run made of metal ductwork.
  • Bedrooms: Similar to living rooms, bedrooms also benefit from metal supply runs to ensure efficient and leak-proof delivery of conditioned air.
  • Dining Rooms: Metal ducting is a common choice for main supply runs in dining rooms as well.

What to do if ducting catches fire

If your ductwork catches fire, the most important action is to ensure everyone’s safety. Evacuate the house immediately. Call out to everyone inside and calmly but quickly exit the building using designated escape routes. Once everyone is safely outside, call your local emergency number and report a fire, mentioning your suspicion of ductwork involvement.

If you can safely exit the building and wait for help from a safe distance, you can try containing the fire. Close all doors and windows to the burning room to limit oxygen supply and potentially slow the fire’s spread. However, never re-enter a burning building.

Wait for firefighters to arrive and provide them with any information you can, such as the location of the HVAC unit, recent ductwork maintenance, or flammable materials stored near the ducts.

By prioritising fire safety measures and taking preventative steps like regular maintenance, you can significantly reduce the risk of duct fires and keep your household safe. Remember, early detection and evacuation are crucial in case of a fire. Always prioritise your safety and leave firefighting to trained professionals.

Invest in fire-resistant ducting today

Invest in fire-resistant ducting today

We at I-Sells endeavour to make sure our customers have all the information they require before deciding to invest in our mould solutions. Be sure to visit our blog page to gain knowledge on the wide array of factors and issues surrounding ventilation, mould, condensation, and much more.

We hope to have shown you the best ducting for fire resistance.

We understand you may have more questions, do not hesitate to contact us for more information with regard to whatever you require our help with. If you’d like to email us, click here. For other contact options, see below:

Call us on 020 8463 9696

Visit us at our showroom:

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United Kingdom

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