– In Europe some fire disasters like the Madrid discotheque fire, the Channel Tunnel, Turin Movie theatre and the King’s Cross fire in London subway, pointed out again the importance of safety in the event of fire. The European Commission, supported by a Group of National Fire Regulators, proposed a completely new classification system, based partially on existing test methods, but partially, and critically for many construction products, on a completely new test, the so-called “single burning item” (SBI) test.
– In consequence, all national classes have been replaced by “Euroclasses”. Traditionally each country had its own fire tests which has created barriers to free trade. The introduction of new European standard tests (ENs) and classifications will simplify this and will provide a better view on differences between the Member States. However the test methods are equal today, the implementation per Member State will vary.
– The Euroclasses became valid 1st.Januari 2001 and after this date, every national classification for construction products were recognized on the national market for a period of time (5 years). At the end of this period, only European classification will be valid, at both national and European level.
– According to this European regulation, products will be rated from A to F according to the performance level observed. Euroclass A will cover products that do not contribute, or contribute only very slightly, to the development of a fire. Euroclass E will cover products that present an acceptable reaction to fire, i.e. they can resist ignition by a small flame for a short period. Euroclass F is for products that have shown no performance criteria.
– The Euroclass classification system will rate: flame spread (from class A to E), dripping (class d0 to d2) and smoke (class s1 to s3).