Need help with testing building materials and structures for fire?
Fire in buildings puts lives at risk either directly, by exposure to the fire conditions, or indirectly, as a result of the response of the building to exposure to fire. Potential responses of the building that could represent a risk to life safety include:
a) Ease of ignition, resulting in early involvement
b) High rates of heat release
c) Rapid spread of fire on surfaces
d) Production of excessive volumes of smoke
e) Excessive heat flow through separating elements of structure
f) Excessive distortion of the structure
g) Collapse of the structure under self-weight or imposed loads
h) Other unspecified behaviour, e.g. melting and dripping.
BS 476-10 describes the general principles and application of the methods in the series of standards for fire testing. Fire tests are used extensively in support of national fire safety legislation. The outputs of these tests may also be used, with caution, to support a fire safety strategy that has been generated using the functional approach to regulations.
Any of the tests used to characterize the reaction to fire, or fire resistance of a material/ construction, only represents one of many possible fire scenarios.
Outputs from fire tests are used in the assessment of fire risks and, similarly to using the results in the context of a fire safety strategy, the limitations on the validity of the results need to be considered when applying them.
Who should use BS 476-10?
Fire and rescue service
Building control officers
Fire safety engineers
Fire risk consultants
BS 476-10 also includes information on how to use this standard with the other parts of the BS 476 series and replaces BS 476-10:1983, which is now withdrawn.
BS 9999 Code of practice for fire safety in the design, management and use of buildings