What is reaction to fire testing and classification?

Reaction to fire (RtF) is the response of a product in terms of contributing – by its own decomposition – to a fire to which it is exposed, under specified conditions. The RtF performance is considered in relation to a product’s end use and is measured for various parameters, including fire growth rate, smoke production rate, fire spread, flaming droplets, ignition time, flaming duration and mass loss rate. The harmonised standard BS EN 13501-1 provides the reaction to fire classification procedure for all construction products, floorings and linear pipe thermal insulation products, while the BS EN 13501-6 relates to the power, control and communication cables.

Why reaction to fire testing and classification?

Reaction to fire testing and classification is an effective means of assessing the fire performance of materials, products and/or assemblies in a fire. The building regulations of each country contain a set of rules for building work in new and altered buildings to make them safe and accessible to people living and working in them. To meet the relevant building regulations and associated guidance with regard to fire safety, it is essential to provide evidence of the RtF performance of materials, products and/or assemblies used in buildings and infrastructure. In the UK, provisions for RtF testing and classification are defined in the guidance given in Approved Document B.

Efectis UK/Ireland as an accredited laboratory

Efectis UK/Ireland is accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) for RtF test standards, namely the BS EN ISO 1716, BS EN 1182 BS EN 13823, BS EN ISO 11925-2, BS EN ISO 5660-1, BS EN 60332-1-2 and BS EN ISO 9705-1 (https://www.ukas.com/wp-content/uploads/schedule_uploads/00002/10169Testing-Multiple.pdf).

Our team has accumulated experience and expertise in carrying out the aforementioned standard tests on construction products and systems related to wall/ceiling applications and cables. Additionally, our team is able to advise on research and/or ad hoc test programmes (Non-UKAS) to provide our customers with tailor-made solutions to suit their project-specific objectives and conditions.

As part of our ongoing expansion and continuous efforts to offer our customers further testing options, the CEN/TS 1187: Test methods for external fire exposure to roofs will be added to our scope of services. Classification using data from external fire exposure to roof tests, as per BS EN 13501-5, will then be possible, coming into force by the end of 2023.

Whether it relates to development of a new product/assembly, indication of RtF class of an unknown material, or official RtF classification, Efectis UK/Ireland is fully equipped for small-scale and large-scale testing and, when required, issuing RtF performance classification in accordance with BS EN 13501-1, BS EN 13501-5 and BS EN 13501-6.

In addition, Efectis UK is able to undertake extended application reports according to the rules of BS EN 15725, using test reports and other relevant data to support a widened field of application for the classification. Efectis UK/Ireland is an approved body ( https://www.gov.uk/uk-market-conformity-assessment-bodies/efectis-uk-ireland-ltd ) to deliver the UKCA mark; Efectis is also a notified body for CE marking and can be the relevant partner to help you access other international markets.

If you have any queries, please contact our experts on uk@efectis.com