Euroclasses arise from new classification systems for both the ‘reaction to fire’ and ‘resistance to fire’ performance of construction products. They provide a common method for comparing the performance of products in fire across the European Union. Around 80% of all construction products will need to be characterised for performance in fire.
National regulations and guidance have been amended so that the old ‘traditional’ parameters have been ‘transposed’ into the new classifications agreed across the EU. Scotland changed their Technical Standards with effect from March 2002, while changes in England & Wales become effective from March 2003, after extensive consultation.
During the ‘transition period’ the old and new systems will co-exist, as we familiarise ourselves with EU Supplement(s) to national regulatory guidance, and as product manufacturers complete the procedures for providing fire performance data on the product CE Mark labels. Specifiers will be required to use the new Euroclasses in design specification, to enable tenders to be submitted from all over the EU.
Importantly, the Euroclass system provides additional information to aid the ‘risk assessment’ requirements under the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997, as amended- a Duty on most employers. In particular, data will be available to indicate the tendency of a construction product to generate smoke and flaming droplets/particles – it is recognised that smoke is responsible for around two thirds of deaths in fire incidents.
What are Euroclasses?
Provides information on the different Euro-classification systems for Reaction to Fire, and for Resistance to Fire; their origins, underlying principles and key features
EU fire tests.
Provides background information on the EU Reference test(s), the fire tests used for EU classification for Reaction to Fire, and listings of Fire Resistance tests for particular applications of construction elements.
Other fire tests
Identifies other fire tests that may be encountered by specifiers, insurers or building owners/employers. The information provides a brief overview of certain ‘ad hoc’ tests, research on fire test methods, and fire tests used within the insurance community.