Why Do I Need a Fire-Resistant Notice Board?
Following comments made by Labour MP David Drew in 2018, many hospitals, community centres and schools realised it was time to review their notice boards. Class E school notice boards, explained Drew, were the most common notice board type to be fitted in school, even though they were made from a material that met only the lowest European safety standard. But what do all of these building regulations mean, and how can you be sure your organisation is meeting them?
Did You Know?
If you are a carer and need to make sure the notes you pin up stay put and aren’t tampered with, lockable notice boards can come in handy. People with dementia can sometimes find it easier to navigate their way through their daily lives with the help of orientation whiteboards and notice boards. Some communication just works better when it’s highlighted non-verbally, and on an average day we’re all expected to take in and process so much information.
Buying yourself or your loved one simple office or school notice boards to keep track of this information can be really helpful. Holding explanations that they are okay and don’t have anything to worry about, these boards can help to reassure people with dementia, as well as allowing them to take notes on plans they make so that they don’t lose track of their appointments.
A low-quality notice board can be set on fire very quickly, and will burn at a great heat. In 2018, David Drew even claimed that certain notice boards are made from materials that are also sold as firelighters. Many online suppliers add to this problem by giving only vague descriptions and information about their products, and failing to differentiate between their fire-resistant and non-fire-resistant products.
BS Class 1 and European Class B (also known as BS Class 0) are the two key fire ratings you should look for when buying a new notice board.
Highest Rating: European Standards Class B
The latest European fire regulations (EN13501-1:2007+A1:2009 Class B) are met by specially designed and tested Class B fire-resistant notice boards. Dead end corridors, hallways, stairways, lobbies and escape routes can all safely display these notice boards. British Standard (BS) Class 0 has been replaced by European Class B.
The majority of cheap notice boards will not meet this standard, and will be too flammable to use safely in any of the areas mentioned above.
BS Class 1
British Standard BS746 Part 7, Class 1 has to be met by a notice board before it can be classed as Class 1 fire-resistant. Areas where the risk of fire is minimal – such as classrooms and offices – can use these boards safely, as they have a fire-resistant material covering and surface. Class B is recommended, however, if there is any risk of fire at all.
Manufacturers have a responsibility to put only safe products on the market under the General Product Safety Regulations 2005, but extreme circumstance can make an otherwise safe product risky if the right precautions aren’t taken.
Your notice boards have to comply with BSEN13501:2002 and BS476 part 6 and 7 reaction to flame test before they can legally be mounted in any escape route or hallway. Red17’s Fire Resistant Notice Boards have been designed to comply with all necessary testing to allow for safe installation in stairwells, school hallways, public areas and entrances. They meet the required European and British Standards and are fully fire-retardant.
The safety of your business and that of the people involved in it should always be kept in mind, because even the most predictable situations can become unpredictable at times. We must always try our best to preserve the goods and livelihoods we are responsible for, whether we’re running an office building or a school. For this reason, fire-resistant notice boards are not simply a legal requirement. Investing in your company’s safety is just the right thing to do.
Quick Guide: Buying a Notice Board
Frames: There’s a variety of different materials used in the industry, but most commonly you will find products with aluminium frames. ‘Aluminium finish’ is a common feature in low-price and budget notice boards with plastic frames. Frames are something you should be careful about when buying a notice board, though they’re obviously a less important feature than the surface itself.
There are lots of nasty, cut-price imitations out there, but your best choice is a real aluminium frame. A wooden frame could also be considered as an attractive alternative to aluminium. Try to avoid ‘aluminium finish’ products, as they simply won’t give you the same longevity or usability.
Fixings: By far the most effective and safest option are corner fixings. As the part that makes sure the board is joined to the wall securely and safely, the fixings of your notice board are vital. Avoid any fixings that hang the board similarly to a picture or painting, as this will not offer the sturdy finish you require for full functionality.
Fire Resistance: Notice boards can be rated with one of two classifications to highlight what kind of fire rating they have. As discussed above, you need to make sure your board is suitably fire-rated if you want to hang it in a public area. Fire regulations should be followed at all costs, so your notice board rating is crucial. Boards hung in corridors and other unsupervised areas like emergency exits need to have a Class B (also known as Class 0) fire rating, while notice boards for public spaces must have a Class 1 fire rating.
If you enjoyed this article, you may also like…
Why a Frameless Notice Board Is Right for You