People expect their homes, work places, schools and hospitals to be safe. Fortunately, fires are rare, but when they strike, they can be disastrous. A1 rated materials, the highest classification a product can receive, do not contribute to the development and spread of fire and buys valuable time for occupants to safely evacuate the building.
What happens in a fire?
A fire is always the result of an ignition source (heat), oxygen (air) and the presence of a combustible material. Oxygen and combustible materials are necessary to nourish and spread a fire. By using as many non-combustible materials as possible, the risk of fire and smoke will be limited or better contained. The determining factor of whether a small fire spreads is decided by how the surrounding materials react to fire.
Where there is fire there is smoke
As a fire burns, the combustible materials in a room release toxic smoke. The amount of toxic smoke released depends on the amount of combustible material in that particular space. In high enough concentrations, toxic smoke creates hazardous health conditions. In fact, toxic smoke inhalation causes more fire-related deaths than do the flames themselves.
Identifying combustible materials
To help identify combustible materials and increase fire protection, various national regulations have adopted minimum targets aimed at reducing the spread of fire. One of those tests a material's reaction to fire.
Reaction to fire
Reaction to fire determines whether a material contributes to a fire. The European Union’s “Reaction to Fire” classification (EN 13501-1) measures a material’s combustibility, the rate of heat release, the rate that flames spread, the rate of smoke emission, flaming droplets/particles and/or a combination of these safety aspects.
A1 is the highest classification a product can receive. A1 products do not contribute to the development and spread of fire. They generate neither smoke nor flaming droplets. Most of our products are classified as A1, meaning they do not contribute to a fire.