Why do you need to know the meaning of Euroclasses?

A few years ago, I had an experience in which, due to the lack of knowledge of the meaning of reaction to fire classifications, a problem arose between a manufacturer, an administration technician and the ownership of a local.

The problem began when a manufacturer of wood covering called me to tell me that for a refurbishment of a local it was required a class B-s2, d0. Given that I knew this person and his products before, I asked him what the problem was because his product met with the requirements include in the legislation at that time. The worried manufacturer told me that the administration technician was asking for an A1 euroclass for the wood. At this point I commented that the technician could request what he considered appropriate but the manufacturer told me that he already knew this and that the problem had its origin in the wood product that according to the technician of the administration had to be A1.

At that time, I did not believe the manufacturer’s explanations and to make sure of what I was hearing, I insisted that he explain one more time the problem and he confirmed again that the technician wanted a wood covering with an A1 euroclass. Innocent of me, I thought this has easy solution so I prepared a document to the manufacturer where I explained the reason why a wood could not be A1. The response of the administration technician did not wait and told us that since he had seen in the past a similar product with an euroclass A1, he wanted the same.

At that time, the situation was very worrying because the manufacturer decided not to continue with the refurbishment, the ownership of the local was lost with this issue and the administration technician thought that everyone was trying to cheat.

To face with this situation, I called the administration technician to clarify the situation and explain him the European classification system (Euroclasses) and even invited him to visit the laboratory facilities where I was working at that time so he could see the test equipments in situ.

After a week, I received his visit. At first the technician was distrustful of me because he was sure that the wood could be A1. When I showed him and explained him all the test equipment, he looked at me and acknowledged that I was completely wrong. In addition, he had a gesture that it honored him because in front of me he called the manufacturer to apologize for his mistake and collaborate on it to complete the process immediately.

In addition, he called the ownership to inform him that everything would be resolved satisfactorily and that there would be no problems with the famous covering wood.

After a while, the manufacturer told me that the administration technician and he had even become friends after this misunderstanding. And you will ask, where did he see that the wood was A1? Well that same question I asked the technician and told me that it should have been confused with other material. So closed topic.

This is just a real example of the problems that it may arise because of the unknown meaning of reaction to fire classifications, the maximum classification can be requested but this could not be applied to all materials or products. Therefore, it is necessary to know what it can be ordered and when we receive the classification and test report, to know the field of application of tested product or system.



Antonio Galán Penalva                                                                                                                                           Fire safety consultant


Diseño de Instalaciones de Protección contra Incendios (PCI)