Natural slate is one of the world’s oldest building materials. It is used for all types of construction work including roofing, cladding, patios, driveways, walls, and more. When used as a material for roofing tiles or exterior cladding, it’s essential that it achieves the necessary fire safe regulations.

What are current fire safety regulations?

The use of combustible materials is now banned on buildings above 18 metres in height. To test a materials’ resistance against the spread of fire, it is rigorously tested to British Standards BS EN 13501-1. To pass this test and achieve fire safe accreditation, a product is assessed by up to five different tests. The tests are designed to evaluate:

  • A material’s combustibility performance
  • How much smoke a material produces when burnt
  • How much a material will encourage the spread of fire

Once the tests are completed, the material or product is given three different ratings.

  • Combustibility (A1 – F)
  • Smoke production (s1, s2, or s3)
  • Flaming particles or droplets produced (d0 – d2)

Together, these ratings show the overall fire safety of a material.

 

Natural slate – non-combustible protection against the spread of fire

According to Building Regulations Document B, certain materials are exempt from testing for their combustibility. The legislation states that: ‘roof covering products (and/or materials) defined in Commission Decision 2000/553/EC of 6 September 2000, implementing Council Directive 89/106/EEC, can be considered to fulfil all of the requirements for the performance characteristic ‘external fire performance’ without the need for testing’.

Under the latest directive, natural slate is part of the list of materials which are exempt from testing. This is because of its long-standing fire performance capacity. All SSQ slates fall into this category and are therefore suitable for use when a non-combustible material is required.

Natural slate for fire safe building installations

As you can see, natural slate is one of the most heat resistant building materials available today. As a fire safe roofing and cladding material, it provides some of the best protection against the spread of fire and associated toxic smoke.

If you’d like to find out more about SSQ natural slate, get in touch today. For more information about any of our slates call 020 8961 7725 or send us a message online and we’ll get back to you as quickly as possible.