Hilti fire testing

Safety In Case Of Fire

EAD design guideline and legal requirements for Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing supports

The fire challenge: creating time to escape

One of the most important considerations when designing fire-resistant mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) support systems is to give people enough time to get out safely in case of fire. The few existing regulatory guidelines, such as European Assessment Documents (EAD), focus on how long overhead installations must maintain their structural integrity when faced with intense heat.

Did you know that...

3.8 m

Fires occur
per year worldwide

Collapsing suspended ceilings, blocked escape routes and damaged indoor or outdoor stairways are to blame for many of these casualties. When pipe and service installations are not designed with fire safety in mind, they can turn into hazards extremely quickly after a blaze breaks out. The thousands of unseen pipes, ducts, cables and strut channels suspended from the ceiling disintegrate in the presence of heat, ultimately crashing to the ground and blocking escape routes.

Fire typically spreads through a building in just 5 minutes

Hilti fire testing curve

As the temperature rises fast, the steel in pipe support systems starts to weaken.

Hilti MEP supports fire
Considerable deformation occurs and eventually the whole system collapses.

Fire-resistant design methodology

Designing fire-resistant pipe support solutions is a crucial task for all planners, architects and engineers.

Despite its importance, there is still no standardised and trusted design method. Even the widely-used Eurocode 3 has been proven inadequate for predicting deformation by current academic and industry research.

The shortcomings of Eurocode 3 are due to its limited scope: this standard deals with the stability of structural steel elements rather than the thin, shaped steel profiles used for pipe rings, strut channels and the like. Nevertheless, Eurocode 3 is often erroneously applied when designing these lighter metallic elements.

Why is Eurocode 3 unsuitable for pipe supports?

Hilti fire design

Test results prove the inadequacy of Eurocode 3

The Leipzig Institute for Construction Material Research and Testing (MFPA) has concluded that it is unsafe to predict the deformation of fire-resistant building service installations using the design method from EN 1993-1-2 (also known as Eurocode 3).

State-of-the-art design guidelines for MEP support systems

Hilti, in cooperation with leading fire institutes DIBt and EOTA, has worked on creating the new European Assessment Document (EAD) guidelines for fire-resistant design and testing, allowing for simple, flexible and cost-effective solutions.

ETA – European Technical Assessment

Hilti fire FEM

Hilti offers innovative, safe, flexible and legally-compliant solutions for fire-resistant, modular support systems. We have gone beyond current conventions to develop a range of duct, pipe and cable supports which you can rely on.

Choose from a wide range of ETA-approved products to meet all your legal responsibilities.

With these fully compliant components, you can be sure that your specifications will allow safe evacuation, unhindered access for fire fighters and protect valuable assets.

Relevant applications

Hilti MEP supports


Hilti MEP supports

Trapeze rod

Hilti MEP supports

Trapeze frame

Hilti MEP supports

Suspended cantilever

Hilti MEP supports

Non-suspended cantilever

Hilti MEP supports

Single pipe-clamp

Hilti solutions and services

At Hilti we have more than 30 years of experience researching and designing products to protect people and assets from fire. These decades of gradual development have led to the comprehensive range of modular support systems, fastening technologies and fire protection systems which we offer today.

To boost your productivity and to save you time, we offer industry-leading support services as well as easy-to-use digital solutions.

Hilti design services

Engineering Services

We can help you with your Modular Support System design. Simply contact us and we will find a suitable solution for your needs.

More information

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If you are dealing with these challenges in your current project, or if you need technical advice on product selection, let our expert Hilti Engineers assist you.

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