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Decoding Fire Safety: A Comparative Analysis of BS EN 13501-1:2018 and BS EN 13501-2:2016

Dive into a comprehensive analysis comparing the fire safety standards BS EN 13501-1:2018 & BS EN 13501-2:2016. Discover their key differences, the significance of each in building safety, and how UKTC's extensive testing experience can ensure compliance with these standards.

Fire-testing assistant in the laboratory at United Kingdom Testing and Certification
Lab Technician at the UKTC Laboratory

An In-Depth Look at BS EN 13501-1:2018: Understanding its Importance in Fire Safety

BS EN 13501-1:2018 is the European standard that provides the reaction to fire classification procedure for all construction products, including products incorporated within building elements, with the exception of power, control, and communication cables covered by BS EN 13501-6. This standard categorises these materials' reactions to fire performance based on a series of tests. BS EN-13501 is the fire classification specified in each product standard that enables products to be CE/ UKCA marked.

A reaction to fire is a product's response in contributing by its own decomposition to a fire to which it is exposed under specified conditions.

This standard supersedes BS EN 13501-1:2007

Its parameters evaluate the ignitability, flame spread, heat release, smoke production, and the propensity for producing flaming droplets or particles.

The Essential Test Methods for BS EN 13501-1:2018 Classification

To classify in accordance with BS EN 13501-1:2018, a combination of the following tests is required:

Test Methods of Reaction to fire performance, In accordance with BS EN 13501-1.

BS EN ISO 1182 – Non-combustibility, under specified conditions, of homogenous materials and composite products used in building construction.

BS EN ISO 1716 – Heat of Combustion Test (Calorific value) of building materials and products. This method measures the maximum amount of heat that the complete combustion of the sample can produce. This is critical to understanding the potential heat contribution of materials and products to a fire.

BS EN 13823 – Single Burning Item(SBI) test measures product's reaction to fire in relation to the spread of a burning flame. It tests parameters such as heat release, lateral flame spread, total smoke production and flaming droplets/particles.

BS EN ISO 9239-1 – Radiant Panel Test (flooring only) is used to evaluate the performance of flooring materials in the event of a fire. It assesses the spread of flame along the surface of a product specimen orientated in the horizontal position under specified conditions.

BS EN ISO 11925-2 – Single-flame Source test determines the ignitability of products by direct flame impingement under specified conditions. It evaluates the behaviour of building materials when exposed to a small flame.

Decoding the Classification System of BS EN 13501-1:2018

The classification is split into three parts to determine the primary classification, the smoke production classification, and the flaming droplet/particle classification.

The main classification in the standard 13501-1 compromises seven classification levels for the direct field of application, which range from A1 (Non-combustible) – these materials do not contribute to a fire under the test conditions compared to the lowest performance class F (No Performance determined).

Smoke production classification comprises three additional classifications (s1, s2, s3). S1 is the highest level of performance, and S3 is the lowest.

Flaming droplet/particle classification comprises three additional classifications (d0, d1, d2). D0 is the highest level of performance, and d2 is the lowest performance rating.

For example, a classification of "B-s1,d0" indicates that the material has very limited contribution to fire (B), minimal smoke production (s1), and no flaming droplets or particles (d0).

Demystifying BS EN 13501-2:2016: Its Role and Scope in Fire Resistance Tests

BS EN 13501-2:2016 is a European standard for fire resistance tests applicable to curtain walling, fire doors and shutters and their closing devices, non-loadbearing walls, and lightweight partition kits, excluding ventilation services. It provides a classification scheme based on integrity, insulation amongst other performance characteristics.

This standard evaluates how these components withstand fire exposure while maintaining structural stability, keeping fire and hot gases from passing through and limiting the temperature rise on the unexposed face.

This standard supersedes BS EN 13501-2:2007

A Closer Examination of BS EN 1634-1:2014 within the Context of BS EN 13501-2:2016

BS EN 13501-2:2016 has a significantly broad scope, but we are going to focus on BS EN 1634-1:2014

United Kingdom Testing and Certification (UKTC) is significantly experienced in conducting tests in accordance with BS EN 1634-1:2014. BS EN 1634-1:2014 sets out the methodology for fire resistance and smoke control tests for these specific building components. This standard aims to determine the ability of a door or shutter assembly (including hardware such as handles, locks, and hinges), openable windows, and other elements to withstand fire exposure under controlled conditions. When conducting these tests, a specimen is subjected to a standard heating regime, and the performance is assessed based on criteria such as integrity (E), insulation (I), and, where relevant, radiation (W) and smoke leakage (S).

Integrity (E) refers to the ability of the assembly to prevent the passage of flames and hot gases. Insulation (I) refers to the ability of the assembly to restrict the temperature rise on the unexposed face, while radiation (W) measures the assembly's ability to limit the amount of radiant heat passing through. Finally, smoke leakage (S) is an optional criterion that assesses the ability of the assembly to restrict the passage of smoke at ambient temperature.

Experience and Expertise: UKTC’s Leading Role in Fire Safety Testing and Certification

United Kingdom Testing and Certification (UKTC) have significant experience in classifying fire resistance products to BS EN 13501-2:2016 at our state-of-the-art fire testing laboratory. We deliver market leading fire testing and certification services that enable manufacturers of buildings materials and products to demonstrate compliance with all appropriate international standards, regulatory obligations and customer expectations. We deliver an unparalleled level of service to our global customer base with industry leading turnaround times.

Looking to find out more information? Contact or call us on 01355 433122 and our experienced team will be happy to help.

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