Product Fire Performance

Fire performance data is needed on a wide variety of different materials, and the specific fire test will depend on the material/product and its intended use. It will also vary country-by-country. However, the fire performance requirements can generally be broken down into two categories; Fire Resistance; and Reaction to Fire. 


Fire Resistance relates to the ability of a material, system or product to withstand a fire. It typically relates to elements such as structural frames, walls and floors. The technical performance criteria are described in terms of loadbearing capacity, integrity and insulation. In simple terms...

Loadbearing capacity relates to structural elements such as beams and columns. It describes how effective they are at supporting their load in a fire.

Integrity and insulation relates to walls, floors and other similar types of construction. It relates to how effective they are at preventing the fire breaking through the wall or floor for the required duration.


There are a very wide range of products that need to meet specific Fire Resistance requirements. These include columns, beams, walls, floors, ceilings, fire rated ducts, fire rated dampers, fire doors, penetration fire seals, intumescent seals, fire stopping details, fire rated glass, fire rated fans, smoke curtains and fire curtains.

In some cases additional materials are provided to improve a material's fire performance. This includes intumescent paint, fire rated boarding; cementitious spray and a wide range of other approaches.

Reaction to Fire relates to how a material reacts in the presence of fire. Typically, the intention would be that the material would react in a way that would not cause further fire spread. So, for wall or ceiling surfaces, the fire should not spread along the surface. Other tests in this category also cover how hard a material is to ignite, or whether it gives off toxic gases in a fire.

There is a wide range of materials/products that need specific Reaction to Fire performance. This includes wall linings, ceiling linings, carpets, external cladding and upholstered furniture.

Surface treatments and/or additives within the material are often used to improve a material's fire performance. This includes fire retardant additives, materials and intumescent coatings and paints. 

IFC have detailed expertise in all areas of fire testing and fire performance of materials. 


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