Sometimes it may not be possible to subject an exact product, construction, material, or system to a fire test. In these cases, Product Assessments (also known as Field of application, Global Assessment or Technical Fire Assessments) provide a way to predict the likely outcome in the event of a fire. Warringtonfire’s experts in the UK, Australia, Asia and Belgium use their technical knowledge, base reference test data and computer and mathematical modelling to provide you with an expert assessment of the expected fire performance of your product, construction, material, or system.
Product assessment in the UK
What types of products can Warringtonfire in the UK assess?To comply with regulations, many buildings require fire resistant (or ambient temperature smoke controlling) building elements such as fire doors, wall systems and floors etc. It is often a legal requirement for these components to resist the passage and spread of fire and smoke for the entire life cycle of the product. The performance of these products needs to be proven, and that is normally achieved by conducting appropriate smoke control or fire resistance testing. However, in some instances, it is impractical or impossible to test all potential variations of fire resistant or smoke controlling elements for all applications – perhaps due to size or configuration, for example. Where this is the case, product assessment can help establish whether any variations from the elements that have been tested are acceptable. This service is normally best suited to simple judgements on small changes. This also applies to reaction to fire testing, however the fire performance claims will be different.
How does product assessment in the UK relate to buildings and construction?Over time, the information relating to the status of fire protection in a building is not always fully maintained. Changes in a building’s use, regulatory reform, or acting on significant findings from a fire risk assessment can result in a need to establish the current levels of protection provided. Sometimes, in particularly bespoke building and construction projects, a product assessment may be the only appropriate approach to establish the status of fire protection. An assessment by one of Warringtonfire’s Product Assessors can help provide information on any appropriate upgrading or replacement work, if necessary.
What does product assessment in the UK involve?
During a product assessment, Warringtonfire’s experts analyse the results of a series of fire resistance, smoke control or reaction to fire tests, then apply their many years of knowledge, in order to evaluate a range of variables in the construction, design or product. Where appropriate, computer or mathematical modelling may be used to inform evaluations.
The output of the assessment is usually a report, advising whether the existing fire test evidence can be extended to allow the development of new designs or design variations without the need for additional testing. In construction cases, it may lead to a recommendation to conduct a design performance evaluation where the construction is too bespoke or impractical to test.
Product assessment in Australia and Asia
What is a technical fire assessment?
Technical fire assessments are desktop study reports of a modified product or system that has already been fire tested. Technical fire assessments range from straightforward judgements on small changes to a product, through to detailed and complex engineering analyses of large, sophisticated building systems. They also involve the inter- or extrapolation of - a series of fire resistance or reaction to fire tests results to evaluate a range of variables in a construction design or product.
Sometimes, it may not be possible to subject an exact construction or product to a fire test. In these cases, we can provide an assessment of the expected performance of a construction element or product based on available reference test data or through computer and mathematical modelling.
How can I meet code requirements?
The National Construction Code (NCC), and other local Australian codes, specify test standards for fire resistance, reaction to fire and bushfire attack levels. Tests performed to the requirements set in any particular test standard only allow the product or system to be installed as tested or to be varied as per that standard’s ‘permissible variations.’ All other variations that are often required to meet the construction or the client’s requirements must be assessed by an Accredited Testing Authority (ATL).
What technical fire assessment services do we offer?
Warringtonfire’s technical fire assessments team are located in Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Singapore. They can provide:
- Advice on new product ranges or systems to determine the minimum testing required to comply with the regulatory requirements. This enables the assessment of a wider range of products.
- Fire assessment reports to address variations to the fire resistance, reaction to fire and bushfire attack levels of products.
- Modifications to a tested product or system with supplementary R&D pilot scale or medium scale tests.
- Mathematical and computer modelling which can assess variations of the tested product or system.
- Structural fire protection assessments of protected steel members and composite construction systems.
- Assessments on the performance of a product or a system under specific conditions or installation configurations, which may be read together with fire engineering reports prepared by an accredited fire safety engineer for ongoing projects.
- Finite element thermal and structural analyses to simulate the behaviour of building systems exposed to fire.
- A ‘translation’ of a test report conducted overseas by an internationally accredited test laboratory to an equivalent Australian, Singaporean, Malaysian or other locally accepted test standard.
Product Assessment in Gent
WFRGENT nv has ample test equipment at its disposal, to evaluate both the reaction to fire of materials and systems and to test the fire resistance of building constructions according to a wide variety of national and international standards. WFRGENT nv can also realise non-standardized experimental full scale tests.The data from these experiments are often combined with the outcome of numerical simulations in order to reduce the number of tests or to extrapolate test results.This service is mainly offered to people or organisations who wish to evaluate the fire risk in existing or planned building constructions or means of transport. It also helps in finding answers for situations where fire has cost lives, has caused major financial losses or has endangered people and/or organisations. Previous projects have covered aspects of fire safety in nuclear power plants, car parks and residential buildings.
Analysis and Assessment Services
Warringtonfire provide two different types of fire assessment services; technical fire assessments of a product or system and fire safety engineering risk assessments for fire safety and cladding.
CFD Fire Modelling
Solve equations regarding fluid flow and heat transfer from the growth and spread of fire.
Fire Safety Strategy
A fire strategy is the way in which fire safety objectives for a new, altered or existing building are defined and achieved. Warringtonfire’s experienced team of fire safety engineers and consultants in Australia will create the best strategy for your project.
At Warringtonfire, we use a performance-based approach to customise a package of alternative fire safety measures for a design – allowing our clients to achieve their objectives but still maintain the level of fire safety required by the building code and approval authorities.
Fire Evacuation Modelling
Latest technology for fire evacuation modelling in order to create an economical and robust solution.
Radiant Heat Transfer Modelling
Radiant heat transfer modelling is a key tool that the fire safety engineers at Warringtonfire use when trying to predict the expected radiant heat transfer from fires to the surroundings and between buildings.
Fire Brigade Intervention Modelling
We can quantify firefighting activities in our fire engineering assessments by using the fire brigade intervention model (FBIM). The FBIM predicts the time taken by a fire brigade to undertake its activities at the fire scene from time of notification through to control and extinguishment.
Fire Risk Assessment
Key fire safety disciplines enables us to provide the most comprehensive and insightful fire risk assessment.
Cladding Risk Assessment
Warringtonfire Australia has a team of accredited fire safety engineers who can conduct combustible cladding risk assessments for a range of projects.