LSS Life Safety Services®

Active vs. Passive Fire Protection

Damper Inspection

Do you know the difference between Active and Passive Fire Protection? There tends to be some confusion about which is which, so here is a quick reminder:


Active Fire Protection – Systems which require a certain amount of motion/or action in order to work properly.  Some of these actions could be slowing the progress of the fire, putting out the fire, or notifying of the fire and smoke conditions. A few examples are:  sprinkler systems and fire alarm systems.


Passive Fire ProtectionDoes not require motion/and or action in order to work. It is used to contain and slow the spread of the fire.  Some examples are:  Fire walls/barriers, fire dampers, smoke dampers, fire doors


So, if your facility has a strong active fire protection system in place,  why does passive fire protection matter?

  • Sprinklers don’t always work as designed
  • Lack of maintenance
  • Tampering
  • System malfunctions
  • Problems with water supply (frozen pipes, Earthquakes, shut off by maintenance staff)
  • Inadequate water pressure


Fact is, passive fire protection systems are meant to work in concert with active fire protection systems – not in lieu of them. 

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