Fire resistance is normally used to indicate an amount of time that a component of a building will remain safe or intact.  For example Structural Steel is often required to have “30 minutes” resistance to fire: this means that it must remain below a critical temperature so it does not lose its structural strength for that 30 minute period – allowing safe evacuation of the building and control of the fire. The products that achieve this fire resistance are usually Intumescent, meaning that they expand and protect when subjected to fire. Other uses of the term fire resistance include the compartmentalisation of spaces. and in this context relate to the time a wall, partition, or door can withstand the passage of fire.


These terms are often confused,
and no,
they are not the same!

Please also see  “FIRE STANDARDS” on our website.

(You can see an intumescent coating at work by clicking on the”TV Demo” link at the foot of this page.)

Fire retardant on the other hand, refers in the main to the rate of flamespread and related areas like smoke and toxic emissions. You will often hear terms like “Class 1”,“Class 0” or  more recently, the new “Class B” in this context. These terms relate to testing to British and International standards where the spread of flame, the amount of smoke, flaming droplets and levels of toxins are measured in strictly controlled situations.Note: Fire Retardant and Fire Resistant products are often used in combination, Usually with a retardant product acting as a top coat over an intumescent fire resistant product.

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