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British Standard Class 1 and German B2 Fire Ratings
Fire safety is a crucial part of building design. Customers may have come across German fire rated products such as spray foam kits that generally meet the standard known as B2 fire rating. This article deals with fire ratings and standards under the Building Regulations and why in general it may not be wise to apply just a B2 rated product on areas greater than 4m2.

The latest Building Regulations for England and Wales contain fire safety standards. Approved document B2 deals with fire safety standards and the compliance standards permitted.

The Building Regulations, part B2 of approved document B (page 59 in latest document), define a lining as being any building product that lines any partition, wall or ceiling or internal structure (e.g. roof). Clearly spraying high density polyurethane foam is going to form a lining under the Building Regulation definitions.

Approved document B2 goes on to specify the fire ratings building linings must achieve. Linings that are greater than 4m2 in area must achieve British Standard Class 1 fire rating (or equivalent) in domestic properties and must be Class O (or equivalent) where a property has shared or communal areas, for example, common reception and stairwell areas in an apartment building.

RIS-Spray use a Class 1 fire rated product so will meet most general building lining applications. Where Class O is required (e.g. car park concrete soffit) a Class O coating is applied to ensure it meets Building Regulations.

In April 2008 the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act came into force so it is wise to ensure that all applications meet Building Regulations as there are now severe penalties in law for non compliance with fire safety standards including imprisonment and very large lines. It is no longer enough to hide behind a corporate identify as individuals will be held to account and be liable.

Customers should be aware that, in general, imported foam and spray foam DIY Kits do not have a British Standard Class 1 fire safety designation but may meet a German fire standard known as a B2 fire rating. The Building Regulations say that direct equivalence of fire standards must be demonstrated if not tested under British Standards. Unfortunately, British Standard Class 1 is not directly equivalent to B2 as the testing methodology is different. However, European Class C-s3, d2 is deemed under the Building Regulations as being equivalent to Class 1.

When in doubt we advise customers to only use spray foam that meets British Standard Class 1 fire rating; the penalties for getting it wrong under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act are just too great.

You can download approved document B2 here. It may take a while to download as the document is almost 5 MB is size.
 
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