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  • How do I know if a classification document covers a certain product?

    A classification document must contain the product name and product description including:
    • thickness
    • colour
    • mass per unit area or density of the product
    • application rate and application method for an applied chemical product
    • mounting and fixing
    • air gap
    • substrate
    • edge testing
    • joint testing
    Some product description information may be contained in the test reports, and not the classification document. If this is the case you must ask to see all the relevant documentation to be sure that the classification document relates to the product you wish to purchase.
  • Does the wood product I want to install have a European Class D without further testing?

    Wood and wood-based products achieve a classification without the need for further testing providing they meet certain criteria. These criteria are listed in the relevant European Commission Decision.

    Copies of these Commission Decisions are available for free via the internet. To use a Commission Decision to find the performance of your product you will need to know the density, thickness and end use condition for your product. You may also need to know mounting or profile details, and be able to check if your product conforms to the relevant product standard. You should check your product against these criteria as listed in the table in each Commission Decision. This table will also tell you the relevant reaction to fire classification.

    If your product does not meet the conditions listed in the table, you will need to determine the product’s reaction to fire performance through testing.
     
  • What is a classification document?

    A classification document is produced using the product's test reports. It is the classification, and not the test reports that demonstrate the classification of the product. It is the classification document that a manufacturer will show to customers and enforcers to demonstrate compliance with the regulations. If you want to check the product you are purchasing meets your requirements for reaction to fire, you must see a classification document to EN 13501-1.
  • Do any materials get a classification without testing?

    Yes, some materials for which there is a lot of historic data, such as wood and metal can in some cases be classified without testing. The Building Regulations provide details for “typical performance ratings of some generic materials and products”.  European Commission decisions can also be used in some instances, see FAQ 19 for details on this.
  • What are the advantages of an indicative test?

    Full testing to achieve a classification involves testing to one or more standards, conditioning of the specimen prior to testing and testing of multiple specimens. An indicative test involves a single test only, and can give an indication of the performance of a product at a lower cost and in a shorter timescale than full testing. This is useful where a product is still at the development stage.
  • What information is required to produce a full quotation for reaction to fire testing?

    A detailed discussion with the client is required before producing a full quotation for reaction to fire testing. There are possible variations in the approach to testing, and a full knowledge of the product is required in order to give advice on the best course of action for the client.

    Questions may be asked about the product, its variations and its end use.

    Questions about the product variables:
    • Material
    • Thickness
    • Colour
    • Density
    Questions about the products end use application:
    • Mounting and fixing
    • Substrates used
    • Air gap
    • Exposed edges
    • Joints
  • What variations in a product can influence its reaction to fire performance?

    The following product variations and end use applications can all affect the performance of a product, and can be assessed using the SBI test:

    Product variable:
    • Thickness
    • Colour
    • Density
    End use application:
    • Mounting and fixing
    • Substrates used
    • Air gap
    • Exposed edges
    • Joints
  • What size specimen is tested in a SBI test?

    Each specimen is constructed from a “short wing” and a “long wing”. The long wing is 1500mm high by 1000mm wide. The short wing is 1500mm high by 495mm wide. All tolerances are ± 5mm.

    A minimum of 3 specimens are required. Further specimens may be required if a product produces a result on the border line between two classification and the higher classification is sought. Further specimens may also be required for testing of variations in the product, or for specimen analysis when writing the test reports.
  • What is a SBI or Single Burning Item test?

    The SBI test replicates a small fire in the corner of a room, with the room corner being constructed from the product to be tested. A flame from a burner with a known output is applied to the product. The products of any resulting combustion are measured, and these allow calculation of the energy that the product has contributed to the fire. Classification will be assessed on the rate of energy production, the total energy produced over a certain period of time, lateral spread of flame and the observation of any flaming particles that may fall from the product.
  • What size specimen is tested in a SFI test?

    The specimen must be 250 (+0, -1) mm x 90 (+0, -1) mm. A minimum of 8 specimens are required, with more specimens required if the product is to be tested on its edge as well as its surface. Further specimens may be required for specimen analysis when writing the test report.

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