Fire protection is an important issue when installing acoustic foam sheets. The fire protection requirement must be considered before the foam material is installed.
Who is permitted to use what?
Our range includes normally flammable foam material, flame-retardant sheets and highly flame-retardant sheets, e.g. our Basotect range. The relevant fire protection is mentioned in the individual item descriptions provided with the products.
A distinction must be made between the different areas in which the foam material can be installed:
For private use ...
...there are generally no regulations and virtually any materials can be used. This comes down to what you think is best. Consider where a fire may occur (electrical devices, sockets, cigarettes, motors, etc.) and then decide on the relevant foam material.
At your company workplace, in an office or hall, in a restaurant...
... there are often different regulations. Before you make a purchase, you generally have to contact the local authority or fire brigade to enquire about the necessary fire protection measures. In general, only flame-retardant materials, such as our Basotect acoustic foam material, may be used in these areas.
In public facilities...
... such as schools, nurseries, universities, i.e. places where large groups of people congregate, the DIN 4102 regulations apply. In this case only flame-retardant materials can be installed – that is, our Basotect acoustic foam material only. Other products often fail to meet this fire protection standard and are generally prohibited from use.
What are the fire protection levels?
There are different levels of materials, such as highly flammable or flame-retardant. Depending on the place of application, the fire protection level may either be freely selected (private use), or it must comply with the regulations.
The following classifications apply
A) Non-combustible building materials
(A1) Non-combustible building materials with no fraction of flammable building materials
(A2) Non-combustible building materials with fractions of flammable building materials
(B) Combustible building materials
(B) Flame-retardant building materials
(B2) Normally flammable building materials
(B3) Highly flammable building materials
The symbols A - B3 are provided according to DIN 4102 (e.g. DIN 4102 B1 for flame-retardant). Building materials down to building material class B1 are considered to be self-extinguishing. If these materials are ignited, the fire will quickly die down (if no external heat source is present). This includes our Basotect foam materials.
From building material class B2, the fire will continue to burn even once the source of the fire is removed, i.e. an ignited foam sheet will continue to burn once the heat source has been removed. DIN 4102 B2 has been termed “normally flammable” as the material burns at a “normal” speed.
Building material class B3 is highly flammable. In some cases, a spark may be enough to cause a fire. Sheets in this building material class are still installed in many music rehearsal rooms/sound studios.
There are numerous other standards that also consider the development of smoke and/or the dropping behaviour, for example. However, a description of these standards would go well beyond the scope of this document. It is important that you first familiarise yourself with the materials that your are and are not permitted to install. If you do not need to fulfil any regulations, the potential risk that you are prepared to take is entirely up to you.
Even if a fire seems unlikely, a precise consideration of the installed materials is prudent, especially if machines, motors or technical or electronic devices are used, or in rooms with a large number of sockets (key word – lightning).