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Fire rating, fire retardancy or fire resistance – what is the difference?

We have come across confusion in the marketplace about these terms. In some sense, this is understandable, as we often use the abbreviation ‘FR’. It is important to understand that fire rating and fire retardancy are two quite different things, and they have very specific meanings. 

When we talk about ‘FR’ at SUPAWOOD, we are typically using the term in relation to Fire Retardancy, which relates to fire hazard properties of materials, in other words how a fire-retardant acoustic panel resists the spread of flames, and how the materials within a space, keep that space safe by preventing the fire from spreading. The relevant NCC portion that applies is the specification C1.10 and clause C1.10. The performance of wall and ceiling linings is measured using a group number. 

Fire Rating or Fire Resistance Level (FRL) is used when buildings need segmentation, to prevent fire spreading from one building to another, or from one section of the building to another. 

This is a measurement of a reliable fire-retardant wall system as a whole, for example, this is where a concrete wall is used, or multiple layers of fire retardant plasterboard, or special fire doors. This Fire Resistance Level (FRL) is measured in terms of minutes or hours of how long these products can resist the fire e.g. 60/60/60 


To clear confusion, SUPAWOOD products are fire retardant and designed to achieve specific performance in relation to the C1.10 group numbers. 

To read more about SUPAWOOD fire compliance, visit the fire hazard properties page on our website here.

If you have any further questions, reach out to us - we are happy to help!

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