As many of the elements which make up the area of passive fire protection are already built into the structure of a building, this type of fire safety can sometimes be overlooked. While many people are already very familiar with the tools of active fire protection, such as fire extinguishers, fire blankets and sprinklers, much less is known about passive fire protection items.
The main difference between active fire protection and passive fire protection is in how fires are tackled. The tools which make up the area of active protection work to meet the fire head on, hopefully extinguishing a blaze completely. In contrast, passive protection seeks to contain the fire and prevent it spreading to other areas of a building. Fire doors and fire curtains are both active in this area. The structural elements of passive fire protection also work to prevent a building from collapsing.