Are you confident your wall sheets are fire-resistant?

In 2019 the Fire Brigade in Ireland attended 890 non-residential fires1 and there were 6 reported fatalities in Local Authority (Social) Housing.2 Of the 890 fires, 225 of these were in Schools, Hospitals and Institutions.


Selection of wall sheets and systems is a vital decision when designing or refurbishing a building for both safety and aesthetic purposes. Internal wall linings are a critical factor in the spread of fire and it gaining hold and consideration must be given to the fire rating and resistance to fire of any product being considered for specification. This is of particular importance in circulation areas where it can prevent escape.

“A fire at the Metro hotel and apartments in Ballymun in March 2018, seriously damaged 26 apartments, destroyed four and resulted in 150 people having to leave the building.”4


Sometimes fire tests are not aligned with the wall system you are buying. It is your responsibility to check you have not been misled by the fire certification and you are adhering to the Building Regulations.

Your first steps to ensuring your wall linings are safe and compliant should be:

  • Ensure the product you are considering exactly matches the product detailed on the fire certificate. Is it the same product and the same thickness?
  • Check that the fire testing has been conducted and duplicates the method of your installation?
  • Has the fire test on the product been conducted as a complete system – ie. included wall sheet, adhesive, joint profiles, and the corresponding substrate?

It is easy to overlook the fire rating of your wall lining material and whilst you might assume the sheets you have chosen, or are installing, would perform to the highest standards, should the worst happen it’s not always the case. Consideration should be given as to how it will react with other parts of the wall construction, since the substrate and adhesive can have an effect on the overall fire rating of the system.

Please note that any changes to the installation of the system or substitution of materials for alternatives will invalidate the fire certification.

The regulations

As stipulated in the Technical Guidance Document B of the Building Regulations3 you must ensure the fire resistance of your wall covering meets the required level for the environment into which it is installed.

The fire rating for wall linings varies by area of the building. However, in order to be used in public areas and circulation spaces wall linings need to achieve the following ratings to ensure they are safe and compliant:

  • EN 13501-1 B-s3, d0
  • BS 476 Part 7 Class 1 and BS 476 Part 6 Class 0

Altro Whiterock gives you EN 13501-1 B-s3 d0, BS476 Part 7 Class 1 and BS 476 Part 6 Class 0.

The solution

The Altro Whiterock system has been designed to give you confidence and peace of mind with a Class 0 fire rating when used as described in the installation guide. Our systems can be trusted to do the job in high risk areas such as commercial kitchens as well as general use areas.

With Altro you can rest assured that our wall systems are fully compliant, and our Technical Services team can provide you with guidance if you have any form of doubt.


  3. - Technical Guidance Document B - Fire Safety (
Posted: 14/05/2021 08:14:00 by Nikki Witchalls | with 0 comments