There are few places where safety is as important as it is in nurseries, pre-schools and schools. Educational establishments have a duty of care to both their students and their staff. This means every scenario and eventuality needs to be thought of; right down to the fine details.
Arguably, one of the biggest risks that needs to be minimised is that of a fire. Schools are filled with highly flammable materials such as paper and books. This makes the need for non-combustible apparatus even more important – including noticeboards.
Classroom walls are frequently adorned with big, colourful noticeboards framing handmade, topical displays. Whilst these look lovely, they are a big fire risk. If a fire were to break out and the noticeboard was not fire-rated, the fabric and the central board would easily catch alight and could potentially increase the risk of injury to those in the building.
The safest solution is to invest in a FlameShield noticeboard.
FlameShield noticeboards are a range of boards that are compliant to both UK and EU fire safety regulations. This means they can be used in classrooms and public spaces across Europe.
UK and EU fire safety regulations measure different things. The UK certification is called BS 476 and it has five class ratings, with class 0 being the highest rated.
In order to obtain a BS 476 certification, noticeboards are subjected to two different tests which look at the spread of a flame across the board and whether or not the board contributes to the spread of a fire (also known as the fire propagation index).
In these two tests, the noticeboard is exposed to a flame from two different angles.
FlameShield noticeboards achieved a class 0 rating, meaning they are essentially non-combustible and will contribute very little – if at all – to the spread of a fire.
Tamperproof noticeboards are classed slightly differently. Whilst the main noticeboard itself is still class 0, the plastic door(s) are not. They are tested under a different specification because of the change in material and are rated as 1Y.
It is not possible to source plastic that is completely fire rated due to the nature of the material. The reason plastic is used instead of glass on lockable noticeboards is because it is much more lightweight and poses less risk of injury if it were to break. In the event of a fire, the plastic will fall away from the board.
European fire safety standards are slightly different. Rather than looking at the spread of a fire, the European test BS EN 13501 monitors any harmful fumes, energy and smoke that is released when the board is alight.
The test has six class ratings which range from class A to F, with class A being the highest rated. FlameShield noticeboards are certified as class B. To our knowledge, there are no UK noticeboard suppliers who manufacture noticeboards rated class A.
FlameShield tamperproof noticeboards are not certified in the EU because there is no provision in place for the plastic.
When the British and European fire safety certifications are combined, FlameShield noticeboards are the safest choice for schools and areas with over 25 people present at any given time.
FlameShield noticeboards are always the ones we recommend because although they have a slightly higher price point, you can’t put a price on safety.
If you need any help or advice on our fire rated noticeboards, please call us on 01733 511121.