Protecting the building and its occupants from fire or in the event of fire is a legal requirement. After all, in the event of a fire, the spread of the fire is a great danger. If flames spread to adjoining rooms or entire floors, escape routes are cut off and firefighting becomes considerably more difficult. The consequences can be devastating. For the individual federal states in Germany, structural fire protection is regulated in the respective state building code. Buildings are divided into five different building classes. The top priority is to prevent the development of a fire and the spread of fire and smoke and to effectively enable the rescue of people and animals in the event of a fire. Depending on the different building classes for all types of buildings (commercial, public or private), the fire resistance of the building components is specified. Background information on the topic and what emco entrance mats can contribute can be found below.

[Translate to English:] Gebäudeklasse 1 Modellrendering

BUILDING CLASS 1

  1. detached buildings with a height of up to 7 m and no more than two units of use totalling no more than 400 m², e.g. single-family houses
  2. detached agricultural or forestry buildings
[Translate to English:] Gebäudeklasse 1 Modellrendering

BUILDING CLASS 2

Buildings with a height of up to 7 m and no more than two units of use totalling no more than 400 m², e.g. semi-detached houses or terraced house sections.

[Translate to English:] Gebäudeklasse 3 Modellrendering

BUILDING CLASS 3

Other buildings with a height of up to 7 m, e.g. residential buildings or hotels

[Translate to English:] Gebäudeklasse 4 Modellrendering

BUILDING CLASS 4

Buildings with a height of up to 13 m and utilisation units of no more than 400 m² each, e.g. apartment buildings or office buildings.

[Translate to English:] Gebäudeklasse 5 Modellrendering

BUILDING CLASS 5

other buildings including underground buildings, e.g. multi-storey office or administration buildings

[Translate to English:] Sonderbauten

SPECIAL CONSTRUCTION

e.g. hotels, kindergartens, schools, sports facilities/halls, hospitals, high-rise buildings, meeting places, etc.

If they are not observed or only poorly implemented, the protection goals required by building law harbour a great potential for liability for the trades involved. If protective measures and partitioning are not planned or implemented properly, complaints are likely - after all, this is the reason for serious fire damage. The Building Code, based on the Model Building Code 2002, focuses on an individual, building-specific fire protection concept for special buildings. As a result, a considerable part of the fire protection responsibility is transferred to the concept creator (fire protection expert), the architect, the construction manager, the specialist planners and the fabricators. As coordinator and client representative, the architect (designer and/or construction manager) bears a great responsibility for the conception and realisation of all required fire protection measures. In the case of building classes 4 and 5 or special buildings, he is usually assisted by a specialist planner for fire protection, who also provides the necessary structural engineering proof for fire protection, as in-depth know-how regarding the basics is required here.

[Translate to English:] Bildcollage: Kommunizierende Menschen, Planung


Fire protection measures are ideally designed by a specialist planner.

Preventive: structural fire protection

Preventive and defensive - fire protection is divided into these two categories. Preventive fire protection includes structural, plant and organisational fire protection. We restrict ourselves here to structural fire protection, which includes all measures that affect the construction or modification of structural facilities. This includes, for example, the creation of fire compartments by means of fire walls and the dimensioning or standard-compliant construction of load-bearing and room-enclosing structures. Relevant criteria are the fire behaviour of building materials, the fire resistance of building components and the planning and installation of adequate escape and rescue routes.

Markings for floor coverings

The behaviour in the event of fire is highly relevant to the safety of building products, so flooring must naturally also be considered in the context of the fire behaviour of building materials.

The EU Construction Products Regulation applies here. The decisive factor for the requirements of preventive fire protection is where exactly the flooring is used. For the area of private living, the building material class Efl is normally required for floor coverings in this country. The suitability in this respect can be proven in two ways: on the one hand through the material composition and the construction, and on the other hand with the help of the so-called "small burner test" in accordance with EN ISO 11925-2.*

The CE marking contains all essential information on the products (e.g. also on fire and slip behaviour). It certifies the conformity of a product with the basic requirements laid down in the European Directives. This marking serves to inform official bodies, for example the labour inspectorates in the EU countries, for whom it facilitates control with regard to the permissible marketing of the products. The CE marking is thus something like a passport for products in the European internal market. Standards are regulated at European level.

Increased requirements in the contract sector

In the commercial sector (hotels, theatres, cinemas, public buildings, etc.), higher requirements are placed on fire behaviour. As a rule, building material class Cfl-s1 is required here. This can be verified by a classification according to EN 13501-1 (classification of building products and types of construction for their reaction to fire) by means of the so-called Radiant-Panel-Test according to EN ISO 9239-1.

 

[Translate to English:] Bahnhof Lüttich

 

Increased requirements apply in the contract sector, as here in Liège railway station, which was equipped with entrance mats from emco.

On the safe side with entrance mats from emco

The fire behaviour of entrance mats, runners and textile insert strips is particularly important in escape routes and entrance areas. For this reason, the entire premium range from emco Bau offers certified fire behaviour and, depending on the product, is classified in building material classes Bfl-s1or Cfl-s1 (according to EN 13501-2), the suffix "s" stands for the fire side effect smoke = Smoke.

s1 stands for no or hardly any smoke development. This means that emco offers architects or planners additional safety with all Premium entrance mats. The MAXIMUS performance inlay for emco Premium entrance mats (material: polyamide) complies with building material class Bfl. Furthermore, the Conform, Innova, Care and Outdoor performance inserts for the Premium products meet the requirements of building material class Cfl.

This means that with emco, you not only have design aspects but also important functional aspects under control right from the planning stage - because entrance mats from emco are not only aesthetically pleasing and functional, but also offer maximum safety in terms of fire behaviour!

[Translate to English:] Drei Beispielbilder mit Premium Eingangsmatten

 

emco offers the architect or planner additional safety with all performance inserts for Premium Entrance Mats. They comply with building material class Bfl or Cfl.


 

What does the EN classification „DIN EN 13501-1 Cfl-s1“ mean for a floor covering?

  • DIN EN 13501 - 1: Abbreviation for the classification standard (specifies the procedure for classifying the reaction to fire of construction products)
  • B and C: Classes of the construction product ("flame retardant", comparable with B1)

  • "fl": Abbreviation for Flooring (floor covering treated separately)

  • "s": Abbreviation for "Smoke" (s1 indicated: no or hardly any smoke development)

  • "d": "Droplets" (deals with the burning drop of a building material)

 


 

* Tests for reaction to fire - Flammability of products when exposed to direct flame: European Standard DIN EN ISO 11925 specifies a test method to determine the flammability of products tested in a vertical arrangement by means of a directly applied small flame without additional heat irradiation.

Discover current magazine articles