Passive fire protection - J.W.Simpkin Fire Protection Specialists

Intumescent paint. Do you require it?

Do You Need Intumescent Paint in the UK? – A Guide


What is Intumescent Paint?

Intumescent paint is a special type of coating that swells when exposed to high temperatures. This swelling creates a layer of foam that insulates the underlying material from the heat, protecting it from damage or destruction. Intumescent paint is commonly used to protect steel and other structural materials in buildings from fire.


UK Regulations on Intumescent Paint

In the UK, building regulations require that all steel structures and components in a building meet certain fire resistance standards. The level of fire resistance required will depend on the type of building and its intended use. For example, a residential building will have different requirements than a hospital or office building.


Intumescent paint is one way to meet these fire resistance standards. If the steel is not protected by intumescent paint, it may need to be protected by other means, such as fire-resistant cladding or fireproof boards. However, intumescent paint is often the most cost-effective and practical solution.


When is Intumescent Paint Required?

Intumescent paint is required in a variety of situations, including:

  • Steel beams and columns in commercial and residential buildings
  • Elevated walkways and platforms
  • Structural steel in warehouses and factories
  • Supporting steelwork in car parks


Benefits of Intumescent Paint


Intumescent paint offers several benefits, including:

  • Effective fire protection for steel structures and components
  • Cost-effective compared to other fire protection methods
  • Easy to apply and maintain
  • Minimal impact on the appearance of the building
  • Can be used on both interior and exterior surfaces




If you are planning a building project in the UK, it is important to consider the fire resistance requirements for steel structures and components. Intumescent paint is a practical and cost-effective solution that can help meet these requirements. By using intumescent paint, you can ensure the safety of your building and its occupants in the event of a fire.