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What is a Passive Fire Consultant?

A Passive Fire Protection Consultant, also called a Passive Fire Engineer or a Passive Fire Specialist, is a person that holds an extended amount of knowledge regarding Passive Fire Solutions and systems and their requirements. An independent Passive Fire Consultant provides the best advice to the client without conflicting interests such as representing a particular manufacturer of products .

Do you need a Passive Fire Consultant?

The advancement, and increased regulation of the passive fire protection industry in the past few years has brought new challenges to many building owners or managers and construction industry professionals. Some examples of these challenges are:

  • Passive Fire Protection failed during IQP inspections for BWOF renewal

  • Projects over budget and delayed due to poor scoping of the extent of passive fire works required

  • Projects over budget due to a poor understanding of the passive fire requirements

  • Projects failing passive fire inspections due to the lack of proper passive fire specification and/or installation resulting in cost and time overruns

  • Projects are not achieving Code Compliance Certificates (CCC) or Certificates for Public Use (CPU) due to the lack of a proper Passive Fire register.

The industry is changing rapidly. Consenting Authorities and their inspectors, passive fire installers and fire engineers now have a more thorough understanding of how critical it is to ensure passive fire protection is done correctly using a fully tested and approved system.

Due to the sheer number of available passive fire solutions (from various suppliers) for the uncountable iterations of various services through various substrates in differing orientations, the design and specification of passive fire systems has become a job requiring specialist expertise and considerable knowledge of these systems.

It is vital to consider that not all fire engineering consulting companies have a Passive Fire Consultant and many passive fire installation companies can only offer support that is limited to straightforward or "off the shelf" solutions. Also, depending on the type and size of the project, an independent Passive Fire Inspector may be required by a consenting authority in addition to the quality assurance provided by the passive installer and the Fire Engineer working on the projects.

The best stage to engage a passive fire consultant is at the beginning of the project, preferably during tendering.

Where a solution does not exist for a specific service through a particular substrate, it is also normal practice now for Consenting Authorities to request an alternative solution (aka ‘Engineering Judgement’ or “EJ”) to assess the available information, consult with product suppliers, formulate and document a solution. This is something only someone who has a deep understanding of how passive fire systems perform and a wide knowledge of available solutions can complete.

How can a Passive Fire Consultant help?

Passive Fire Consultant in tendering and quotation stage

A proper passive fire design and specification during tendering and quotation is desirable for accurate pricing. This will also ensure a proper comparison between the different tender prices of passive fire installation companies.

A Passive Fire Specification may include the following:

  • Marked Up Drawings

  • A Bill of quantities for quotation

  • Providing an approved solution for each item identified

  • Estimation of the installation time for construction programmes and schedules

  • Work through a price list for specific solutions

Or, in case others perform the items above, the passive fire consultant may provide the following:

  • A review of the items identified and solutions provided

  • Suggested alternatives which are easier to install and/or more cost effective

  • Additional solutions for more complex systems

Passive Fire advice during the project installation

Every construction project has unexpected situations regarding Passive Fire Protection, and specialist advice might be required. A Passive Fire Consultant can assist with formulating a compliant, economical solution for your situation.

This advice can be provided as follows:

  • A phone call referencing the reports and possibilities to be looked at,

  • A simple e-mail referencing solutions and test reports,

  • A more elaborated e-mail explaining the system to be used, why and how it should be used, including agreement from the manufacturer for the proposed solution,

  • A branded letter or Consultant Advice Notice (CAN) including elaborated solution and references to fire report requirements, drawings and attachments as required.


Independent Third-Party Passive Fire Inspections and construction monitoring

A Passive Fire Consultant can provide independent Third-Party Inspections or undertake Construction Monitoring for the passive fire systems to ensure the installations performed are compliant with the manufacturer’s requirements and tested solutions.

Passive fire inspections usually include the following:

  • Visual Inspection on site

  • Destructive testing

  • A review of the installer's Quality documentation (which can include systems such as Clarinspect, Bolster, BORIS etc..)

  • A record of defects and findings

At the end of a project where the consultant performs the Construction Monitoring, a letter can be provided with a certificate of compliance or a Producer Statement (PS4) for your passive fire systems.

Passive Fire Consultancy for Installation Companies

An experienced Passive Fire Consultant can also offer advice and/or training to a passive fire installation company, including but not limited to:

  • ​​General Consultant advice related to the Passive Fire Protection industry

  • As a Third-party inspector of the internal quality assurance system.

  • Online or in-house training of staff members so that they understand:

    • How to obtain Qualifications

    • The Passive Fire Industry and its requirements

    • Passive Fire Protection Products and solutions

    • How to specify Passive Fire Protection Products and solutions

    • How to perform a survey

    • The stages of quotation

    • The principles of Project Management

    • How to perform quality inspections

    • How to perform installations

    • How to better use your recording system (i.e. Clarinspect, Bolster, BORIS, etc.)​


Nelligan Consulting Engineers has an in-house passive fire protection consultant team with expertise and knowledge to assist you with your project at various stages to ensure the passive fire installation is appropriately specified, compliant, cost-effective, and with minimal delays.

Check out our Passive Fire Service Page and Projects!


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