Take a read of all the latest articles written by Trafalgar Group owner, John Rakic. 

Where would Construction Be Without Intumescent Material?

By John Rakic


It was around 30 years ago when I first heard the word “intumescent”. Little did I know that day would change my working life. It took me ages to remember how to spell it and to pronounce it correctly.


If I’m honest, this word and the phenomena of intumescing has been a huge part of my working life.


So, what is it?


Simply put, to intumesce—the verb which comes from the Latin word “intumesco”—means to swell up (“I become swollen”).


It is fair to say that passive fire protection (or fire stopping) has adopted the word, and intumescent materials are well known to those who work in this field.  Read More



Smoke Is The Real Killer in Fires

By John Rakic


They say that time flies. Well, that saying holds true to me personally when it comes to smoke and smoke leakage. I am fortunate to have spent six years completing a Masters in Fire Safety Engineering, studying on weekends and evenings while working full time. I had a thirst for knowledge and passion to learn how to calculate and model smoke movement.


This all manifested itself in my major project or dissertation for my master’s degree being smoke leakage. I have fond memories of the time I spent in Madison Wisconsin, doing ambient and medium temperature air or smoke testing. I tried to correlate the empirical formulas of Coopers and other researchers with actual leakage measurements. Read more.




A Guide to Fire Stopping of Service Penetrations for Active Fire Protection Companies

By John Rakic


We can thank Fredrick Grinnell all those years ago, as he is credited for being the creator of the first practical automatic fire sprinkler.


Here in Australia, the Wormalds have been leaders in fire protection design, installation, and servicing since their inception in 1989 as Wormald Brothers. The company was formed more than 125 years ago now, by Joseph Dawson Wormald and Henry Percy Wormald, to introduce Grinnell’s sprinkler technology to Oceania.


So called active or water-based fire protection systems have saved thousands of lives and billions of dollars of property. For an effective fire protection strategy, we need early detection; safe egress paths, smoke control measures, fire compartments, fire brigade intervention and fire stopping of opening in fire barriers around services through which fire and smoke can spread. Read more.




Passive Fire Protection of Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Services

By John Rakic


Australian Building Regulations have been slowly tightening up to improve the energy efficiency of our buildings. This article will talk about what these changes mean to the services for HVAC&R pipe reticulation as well as the challenges this presents to passive fire protection and the fire stopping of openings in fire barriers where these services need to pass through.


What we see is a slow increase in the thickness of insulation required on copper pipes and pre-manufactured and insulated pair coil materials (used for split system type air conditioners, for example). Read more.




Passive Fire Protection in Australia: Serious Regulatory Change is Here Now!

The best part of my 32 years of work as both a Mechanical & Fire Safety Engineer have been in my beloved passive fire protection field... Read more.

Open State Cavity Barriers for Use Behind Cladding on Australian Buildings

This technical overview has been prepared in response to some confusion around the use of so called “open state” cavity barriers used to help compartmentalise the cavity... Read more.

Cavity Barriers and Their Application Here in Australia

Passive fire compartments, fire containment barriers and separate fire cells (or zones) are well known in the industry. For those who don't know, the principles are relatively... Read more.

Part 1: Understanding Fire Rated Access Panels

The NCC is Australia has made it clear; fire testing needs to be current and conducted in accordance with AS1530 Pat 4 – 2014... Read more.

Electrical Services Passing Through Fire Rated Barriers

We have all heard all the fuss about so called combustible cladding on buildings here in Australia, and some of us would have seen the tragic events unfold... Read more.

Fire Collars

There is more to compliance than just whacking a fire collar on a plastic pipe and walking away. This article is written to assist those working with fire collars... Read more.

Fire Regulatory Change and Cladding Recommendations

Building Regulations historically have changed following public disdain for multiple fatality tragedies and typically in the wake of these tragedies... Read more.

Fire Rated Board

There is a lot of confusion about so called “fire rated boards” and I think it is prudent to discuss a little about fire ratings and the use of so-called fire rated board products... Read more.

Part 2: Understanding Fire Rated Access Panels

The NCC in Australia has made it clear; fire testing needs to be current and conducted in accordance with the latest version fo the fire test standard, AS1530 Part 4 - 2014... Read more.

NCBP Debacle

There would not be too many people who have not heard about the tragic events of the Grenfell fire which took the lives of so many innocent people in the UK... Read more.

Passive Fire Protection of Steel Structures

As I sit at my trusty laptop, on Sunday morning, watching the sunrise through my window, I take a moment to stop and pay my respects... Read more.

The new passive fire protection landscape in Australia

NCC2022 is all but here; do you know what all the fuss is about and what other NCC changes have been implemented pertaining to FRL’s? This is article is a MUST read... Read more.

Fire Rated Joints in Walls and Floors

Control, movement or expansion joints are an important part of good building practice. They are used to allow for movement and expansion and stop unsightly cracking... Read more.

Holy, whole and holes?

Whether you are the builder, plumber, electrician, mechanical services contractor or anyone involved with building services, this should be a useful guide to understanding the BASIC questions... Read more.

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