Penetrations In Fire Rated Systems

Penetrations through fire rated construction can allow premature spread of fire from one firecell to another if not correctly designed, specified or installed. Poorly installed penetrations can compromise the Fire Resistance Rating (FRR) of GIB® systems, and in turn affect the building’s design for Protection from Fire, potentially impacting on the health and safety of occupants and fire fighters.



Below is the list of available details that show the general principle of forming simple penetrations through one side of a GIB® fire rated system. Many of the details shown rely on plasterboard baffles to retain the system’s FRR. The penetration solutions shown are suitable for a FRR up to (120)/120/120 unless otherwise noted.

• Single cable penetration for surface mounted electrical fixtures
• Flush boxes in timber and metal stud walls
• Larger recesses in timber and metal stud walls
• Metal pipe in timber and metal stud walls
• Suspended ceiling
• Spring or clip fixed light fitting
• Frame fixed light fitting

Click here for all the single sided penetration details.

Note that these details are generic, have been tested by Winstone Wallboards Ltd, and are covered by BRANZ Appraisal No.289 [2012].

Sometimes more ‘elegant’ proprietary penetration seals exist such as metal switch boxes with intumescent pads. For proprietary systems contact the relevant penetration seal supplier.


Through penetrations such as metal or plastic pipes, cable trays, ducts, etc. rely on proprietary products and penetration seals. Specific details of systems and required installation details must be obtained from the penetration seal suppliers.



Ensure penetration seals are supported by framing around the aperture and not directly by gypsum plasterboard linings. Installation of additional framing members is often required.

Alternatively an additional strip of plasterboard can be installed over the existing lining and supported by adjacent framing members as below. This option is suitable for penetration seals such as cable bundles, metal pipes and PVC pipe collars.


It is always recommended to resolve and specify fire penetration solutions in the design office rather than on the building site. Combine services in service ducts and shafts which can themselves be fire rated, eliminating the need for many different and individual penetration seals.

Penetrations In Fire Rated Systems