The leading trade bodies representing fire protection, the fit-out and interiors sector and plasterboard manufacturers have come together to warn of the dangers in passing cables and pipes through firewalls used for compartments in buildings.

FIS joined forces with the Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP) and the Gypsum Products Development Association (GPDA) to launch a labelling initiative to provide instant guidance on what to do when considering whether and how to pass cables and pipes through compartment walls.

One of the biggest issues facing M&E contractors who are employed to pass services through a building, is that they may not be aware that the partitions they need to pass through are fire rated, and any holes cut into them will negate the performance of the partition. This may allow smoke fumes and fire to pass through from one compartment to another, which could lead to loss of life, extensive damage to the building and have huge impacts on any business.

Often the route for these services is at high level through the void above ceilings, so the new labels will be placed on the firewall in the ceiling void by the contractors so that any facility manager, M&E or cabling contractor will be instantly aware of the performance of the compartment wall and importantly, where to find guidance in future.

The labels can be printed from a downloable pdf available at

ASFP, FIS and GPDA all believe that this simple initiative is not only good practice but has the potential to save lives and property.