The basics of fire safety

The health and safety of our buildings has never been more important, particularly when it comes to fire. High profile building fires around the world have raised complicated questions about what makes a building safe and who is responsible when things go wrong.  

Building fire safety can depend on many factors ranging from the age of the building, its use and location to how it meets local regulations, the combustibility of the building materials used and whether these were installed correctly.

Key concerns about fire safety

Naturally these factors raise essential issues for both customers and installers. Have the right fire safety choices been made? Have the safest products been installed? How were those products tested? And are the building materials used in line with regulations?


So, for any installer facing these questions, the simplest way to answer is to offer to design fire risk out the building from the very start and only use non-combustible products.

But both installers and customers should feel confident that they have a good understanding of what fire safety means to them. That is why we have produced this easy-to-understand question and answer overview below.

Download the infographic "5 Tips to Take Into Account When Choosing Fire Safe Construction Materials."


What does non-combustible and fire resistance mean?

Combustibility describes the fire reaction of a product — whether it will burn or not. And resistance describes how long a product can stop a fire spreading.

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So which products offer the best fire safety?

Standards known as Euroclass ratings range from A to F and start with A1 (completely non-combustible) down to F (extremely flammable or not tested). Most Heraklith Wood Wood boards are A2, which means they are fire safe —extremely difficult to burn.

And what about fire resistance?

Fire resistance is all about time, how long materials can stop fire spreading. Our Heraklith Tektalan A2 boards with Rock Mineral Wool, for instance, offer exceptional heat shields and can resist fire for up to 180 minutes. An added advantage is that these products don’t form burning droplets and produce very little smoke. This is vital as death by smoke inhalation is a tragic factor of most fire fatalities.

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What are the fire regulations for buildings in the UK? 

If building products are installed above a building height of 18 metres they must be rated Euroclass A and any balconies and terraces on buildings of any height must be of limited combustibility. In underground parking, fire resistance must be a minimum of 60 minutes if the depth is less than 10 metres below ground and at least 90 minutes for parking deeper than 10 metres.

All you need to know about fire testing 

All our Heraklith products have been independently tested to international standards. However, we believe as there are endless factors that could impact a building in the real world, that fire risk should be designed out of buildings from the start. And that means installing products such as our A2 rated solutions.  

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And keep your customers up to date

If your customers call for the installation of Class 0 products, politely inform them that this is an out-dated classification. Unfortunately, it was limited in scope and has been replaced today by more comprehensive classifications.

To read more about fire safety, download our infographic