Fire protection

Fire protection

Fire Protection Classes according to DIN 4102 and DIN EN 13501

Fire protection is a central concern in the construction industry, as it safeguards lives and minimizes property damage. Two crucial standards that play a significant role in fire protection are DIN 4102 and DIN EN 13501. In this post, we look at these standards and the key differences.
Interested? So let’s get started right away!

DIN 4102

DIN 4102 is a German standard that defines the fire behaviour classes of construction materials, components, and building products. It assesses the behaviour of materials during a fire and categorizes them based on their flammability.

The DIN 4102 standardization is extensive, starting with “DIN 4102 Building Materials; Terminology, Requirements and Tests,” and spanning over 20 other sections such as DIN 4102-12 “Fire-resistance of electric cable systems; Requirements and tests.”

Of particular interest are the fire protection classes classified according to DIN 4102:

  • A1: Non-combustible
  • A2: Non-combustible (products may contain certain proportions of combustible components)
  • B1: Flame-resistant (may not continue to burn independently after ignition and flame removal)
  • B2: Normal flammability (ignitability must be limited to a predefined DIN dimension)
  • B3: Easily flammable (may only be used as composite materials in buildings)
DIN EN 13501

In contrast, DIN EN 13501 is a European standard consisting of five parts that define the fire classification of construction products. It defines seven different classes that evaluate the behaviour of construction products in case of fire.

Here’s an overview of the fire protection classes according to DIN EN 13501:

  • A1: Non-combustible
  • A2: Non-combustible
  • B: Flame-resistant
  • C: Normal flammability
  • D: Easily flammable
  • E: Not sufficiently fire-resistant
  • F: No performance determined or not tested

As an additional classification, fire secondary effects (smoke & dripping) are taken into account. Smoke production is classified as follows:

  • s1: Low smoke production
  • s2: Medium smoke production
  • s3: High smoke production or not tested

In addition, “droplets” are classified as:

  • d0: No flaming droplets or particles within 600 seconds
  • d1: No flaming droplets or particles with an afterglow time > 10 seconds within 600 seconds
  • d2: No performance determined or not tested

Sounds complex? Let’s examine an example to clarify:

Fire Protection Class A2-s1, d0 represents non-combustible but smoke-producing materials.

A construction product belonging to this class could be a particular type of plastic that emits no liquid fuels in case of fire (d0), produces smoke (s1), and is non-combustible (A2).

In conclusion, according to DIN 4102 and DIN EN 13501, fire protection classes play a crucial role in building fire safety.

While DIN 4102 is specific to Germany and defines the classification of construction materials based on flammability and other factors, DIN EN 13501 offers a harmonized European classification with extended evaluation criteria.

Both standards aim to enhance fire safety and simplify the selection of suitable construction materials.

However, classifications according to DIN 4102 and those according to European DIN EN 13501 are not directly transferable and carry their significance in tender specifications.

Both standards contribute to minimizing the risk of fires, thereby protecting lives and property.