Understanding Fire Ratings: A Comprehensive Guide
Understanding Fire Ratings: A Comprehensive Guide
Fire safety is a crucial consideration in any public building, such as schools, hospitals, and government offices. Building regulations mandate the use of fire-resistant materials to ensure the safety of occupants in the event of a fire. One key aspect of fire safety is the use of fire-rated noticeboards, which must adhere to specific fire rating standards. In this guide, we will delve into the world of fire ratings, exploring the British and European standards, and understanding the different classes of fire-rated noticeboards available in the market.
British Fire Rating Standards
In the United Kingdom, fire ratings are determined by the British Fire Rating Standard, known as BS 2476. This standard classifies products on a scale of 0 to 4, with class 0 being the highest (safest) rating. The BS 2476 test assesses the spread of flame and ensures that the product does not contribute to the growth of a fire.
To achieve certification under BS 2476, noticeboards undergo testing under two other certifications: BS 5897 Part 2 1980 and BS 476 Part 7. The former refers to the type of fabric used in the noticeboard, while the latter focuses on the lateral spread of fire between 1.5 to 10 minutes. Once a noticeboard passes these initial tests, it is subjected to further assessments, including igniting a fire directly at the front of the board and lighting the bottom edge. These tests evaluate the noticeboard's impact on the spread of a blaze, leading to the allocation of a specific class rating ranging from 0 to 4.
European Fire Rating Standards
Beyond the British standards, there is also the European fire safety standard, BS EN 13501. This standard rates products on a scale from class A to class F, with class A being the highest (safest) rating. Currently, there are no UK notice board suppliers manufacturing noticeboards higher than class B according to the European standard. The BS EN 13501 test examines the behavior of the noticeboard when it burns, specifically looking for the emission of harmful fumes, energy, and smoke.
It's important to note that notice boards may have additional classifications listed on their technical specifications. However, when it comes to fire retardancy, the only relevant classifications are BS 2476 and BS EN 13501. Other classifications may pertain to tests such as the reaction of the fabric to light, color fastness, and fading.
Class 1 Fire Rated Noticeboards
Class 1 fire-rated noticeboards are designed to meet the stringent requirements of fire safety regulations in public buildings. These noticeboards have undergone rigorous testing and have been certified to meet the standards set out in BS 476 Part 7 Class 1. This means they have demonstrated their ability to resist the spread of flames, making them suitable for use in offices, rooms, and classrooms.
At Pitts Presentation, we offer a range of Class 1 fire-rated noticeboards to meet your specific needs. Our Pitts Premier Felt, Charles Twite, Camira Cara and Camira Lucia, and Corded Hessian fabrics all have fire ratings and come with fire certificates certified to BS 476 Part 7 Class 1. Additionally, our tamperproof lockable noticeboards include a polycarbonate cover that is also fire rated to BS476-Part 1 Class 1.
Class B Fire Rated Noticeboards (also known as Class 0)
In areas such as corridors and stairwells, noticeboards must comply with Class B fire rating, which is equivalent to Class 0. Pitts Presentation offers a range of Class B fire-rated noticeboards that have been fire tested to BS EN 13501-1:2007+A1:2009. These noticeboards are made with a fire-rated backing board and covered with fire-rated fabric, such as Premier Felt, Charles Twite, Camira Cara, Camira Lucia, and Corded Hessian. The composite board used in these noticeboards has been tested to Class B EN 13501 standards.
For added safety, Class B tamperproof lockable noticeboards come with a polycarbonate cover that is fire rated to BS476-Part 1 Class 1. These noticeboards have also undergone composite testing to meet the requirements of BS EN 13501-1:2007+A1:2009.
Polycolour FR®: Fire Rated Noticeboards
At Green Monkey AV, we offer the Polycolour FR® range of noticeboards, which provide both Class 1 and Class B fire ratings. These noticeboards are versatile and come in a variety of colors and frames to suit your aesthetic preferences. The Polycolour FR® noticeboards are not only fire-rated but are also recyclable in the PET waste stream, making them an environmentally friendly choice.
Fire safety is of utmost importance in public buildings, and fire-rated noticeboards play a crucial role in meeting the necessary regulations. Understanding the different fire rating standards, such as the British BS 2476 and European BS EN 13501, is essential in selecting the appropriate noticeboard for your specific needs. At Pitts Presentation, we offer a wide range of fire-rated noticeboards, including Class 1 and Class B options, to ensure the safety and compliance of your premises. Choose Pitts for quality, reliability, and peace of mind when it comes to fire-rated noticeboards.