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Active vs. Passive fire safety – What’s the difference? 


Ensuring your building is protected from a fire, no matter how severe, should be high up on your list of priorities.

The integration of both passive and active forms of fire protection should be an integral part of your processes to prevent a fire in your building, whether it be a school, a high rise building or a hotel – the two go hand in hand.


Let’s start here, what is passive fire protection?

While active fire protection systems are triggered by the existence of a fire, passive fire protection systems aim to prevent the fire from happening in the first place. In short, passive fire protection systems use fire-resistant capabilities to prevent a flame from first igniting and then spreading.  

Active systems also help the occupants of a building to evacuate safely when a fire occurs. Let’s explore some examples, some forms of active fire protection include fire doors, firewalls, emergency exit signs/luminaires, and dampers. Evaclite would be considered a passive form of fire protection as the use of intelligent and adaptive signage guides you to a suitable and safe exit, reducing bottlenecks and evacuation time. 


So, what is active fire protection? 

Active fire protection systems work to actively put out a fire that has already begun. These systems include individual assets such as fire extinguishers, fire sprinklers, and fire suppression systems. Active systems can come in two different forms, they can either be automatic or manually operated. Automatic systems include fire sprinklers and manually operated systems include fire extinguishers. These systems are triggered by the presence of fire and smoke and provide a response that attempts to suppress the fire until the fire department arrives. 

Having active fire protection will help to fight a fire and reduce the damage that a fire causes.


The total package

In order for your building to be protected to the highest possible standard, you will need a combination of both passive and active fire systems that work in conjunction with each other, in order to prevent a fire and control one that may start. 

If you are constructing a new building, no matter what the facility may be used for, you may want to consider using fire-resistant materials for the walls, doors, and floors. You should also install an active fire protection system, such as fire sprinklers. 

Remember, if you are unsure of which systems your facility needs, you should hire the help of a professional fire protection contractor.


Evaclite’s Dynamic and Adaptive Emergency exit signage

Are you looking for a higher level of safety from your passive fire protection system? Evaclite dynamic emergency exit signs have been proven to facilitate a safer evacuation during an emergency. The signs attract the eye and provide a dynamic pulsing array of light within the emergency luminaire, guiding you to a safe exit. Being intuitive the signs are easily understood by all languages. 


Evaclite offers: 

  • Increased rates of detection by more than 60%
  • Improved people decision making by 44%
  • Facilitate a 50% quicker evacuation


Want to discover more? Check out our range of dynamic and adaptive products: