Fire Retardancy - What's the Flaming Difference?

Flame Retardant Fabric Covered Notice Boards

It is vital, if a fabric covered flame retardant notice board is required, that both the base board and the fabric covering meet the relevant test requirements.

Fire Offices are aware of performance criteria and will not accept products without a composite fire test certificate. Sundeala carried out a series of tests under the new European standards and the results are evident from the photographs adjacent. It must be noted the primary source of flame, which is gas generated, remains constant throughout the duration of the test.

Both tests used an identical flame retardant fabric. The only difference between the two is the choice of bas board, one utilising Sundeala FRB, and the other a standard, non-flame retardant product.

All fabric covered Class B notice boards produced by Sundeala are supplied with the appropriate material over an FRB board.

Fire and the Building Regulations

What the Building Regulations say:

The fire performance requirement of Building Regulations Approved Document B – Internal Fire Spread (linings) is to inhibit the spread of fire within the building. In this respect the new European Harmonised test standards BS EN 13823: 2002 and BS EN 11925-2 replace British Standard BS 476: Parts 6 & 7.

Below is the European classification alongside the old British Standard class, together with their uses within the Building Regulations.

England and Wales:

From Approved Document B2 Section 4 (Section 7)

Table 10 (ES):


European Standard Class

British Standard Class

Small rooms of area not more than:

  1. 4m² in residential accommodation

  2. 30cm² in non-residential accommodation



Other rooms:

Circulation spaces within dwellings



Other circulation spaces including the common areas of flats and maisonettes




7.4: Parts of walls in rooms may be a lower class than specified above provided the total area of those parts in any one room does not exceed one half of the floor area of the room, subject to a maximum of 20m in residential accommodation and 60m in non-residential accommodation.


Technical Standards Table 3 (D1.3): Reaction to fire aligns Class B with Class ‘O’ under the classification of ‘Low’.

Republic of Ireland

Appendix A and to part B (paragraphs A9 and A10) of Technical Guidance Document B, Fire Safety, Building Regulations describes Class ‘O’ criteria.

General Information

Sundeala FRB board has been tested under the European Harmonised Standards BS EN 13823: 2002 and BS EN 11925-2 and fully meets the criteria for Class B. Sundeala FRB may therefore be used in locations that previously required British Standard and Building Regulation classifications of Class 1 and Class ‘O’.

As a general guide Class B products should be used in fire escape routes, corridors, stairways, lobbies, kitchens, workshops, laboratories etc. If in doubt your local Fire Officer can advise on their correct use.

Please be aware design principles vary according to building type and between regulatory bodies. School design is greatly influenced by Document BB100 “Designing and managing against the risk of fire in schools” where the use of notice boards with a cover (our Securi-boards) should be used in non-protected escape routes. Please contact Sundeala if you require additional details.