Last edited 21 Dec 2017

Fire resistance of buildings

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Approved document B, Fire Safety, Volume 2, Buildings other than dwellinghouses, suggests that:

The fire resistance of an element of construction is a measure of its ability to withstand the effects of fire in one or more ways, as follows:

  • Resistance to collapse, i.e. the ability to maintain loadbearing capacity (which applies to loadbearing elements only).
  • Resistance to fire penetration, i.e. an ability to maintain the integrity of the element.
  • Resistance to the transfer of excessive heat, i.e. an ability to provide insulation from high temperatures.

The appropriate criteria are specified in BS 476.

Other information about fire resistance in the approved document includes:

  • Guidance in section 2 concerning the use of fire-resisting construction to protect means of escape.
  • Guidance in section 9 about the fire resistance of external walls to restrict the spread of fire between buildings.
  • Information in appendix A about methods of testing and the performance of elements of construction.
  • Information in appendix B about fire doors.
  • Information in appendix C about methods of measurement.
  • Information in appendix D about purpose group classification.

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