IFSA’s 40th Anniversary Approaches

As we say goodbye to 2021 and look forward to the possibilities offered by 2022, the new year holds additional significance for the Intumescent Fire Seals Association, since it marks our 40th anniversary as a trade association representing the views and interests of the intumescent seals industry.

Throughout the past four decades, IFSA has promoted the life safety benefits associated with intumescent fire and smoke seals by offering guidance on the science and application of these products to both professionals and the general public, and has contributed to the development of test procedures for fire protection products in BSI, CEN and ISO.

Further information on IFSA’s activities and membership application process may be obtained by contacting our Secretariat (Telephone: +44 (0)1844 276928; Email: contactus@ifsa.org.uk; website: www.ifsa.org.uk).

Formation of the Smoke Control Consultation Group

In collaboration with associations similarly concerned with fire protection in buildings – ASDMA, BWF, ACDM, GGF and IFC among them – IFSA has participated in the formation of the Smoke Control Consultation Group (SCCG).

SCCG was established to investigate the issues surrounding smoke leakage in fire doors, with the aim of improving guidance offered in various BS documents and to update building regulations Approved Document B (ADB).

SCCG’s initial investigation dealt with the threshold clearance for doors, currently specified in key standards as a so called “safe gap” of 3mm. Work carried out by IFSA and adopted by the group showed that allowing gaps under the door leaf does not afford satisfactory smoke control as it allows significant smoke leakage. These findings are currently being taken forward to effect changes to UK standards BS 9991, 9999 and 8214.

In representing large sections of the fire protection industry, SCCG draws upon the collective resources of its constituent associations and presents coherent, unified guidance to government.

IFSA continues to contribute to the ongoing work of the SCCG; further information can be obtained from incoming IFSA chairman and representative on the SCCG forum, Mr Jim Kelly (jim@sealedtightsolutions.com).

SBS Press release – The internal market for fire doors at risk

On Monday 16 September 2019, SBS, EuroWindoor and EDSF published a joint position calling on the European Commission to take measures to avoid the imminent disruption of the internal market for fire doors.

The current situation stems from the complex standardisation process. Harmonised standards are the foundation of the internal market and are developed on the request of the European Commission. An old mandate, the recent delays in agreeing on templates and internal regulations have resulted in a constrained standardisation process.

To minimise the impact on the sector, SBS, EuroWindoor and E.D.S.F. are calling on the European Commission to implement a three-step approach:
• Extend the co-existence period beyond 1 November 2019 for EN 16034, a standard for fire resisting and/or smoke control characteristics of the pedestrian doorsets, industrial, commercial, garage doors and openable windows, following its citation as a harmonised standard in the Official Journal of the European Union in 2016
• Ensure that the co-existence period for EN 16034 is aligned with the co-existence period for EN 14351-2, a standard for windows and doors on the performance characteristics for internal pedestrian doorsets
• Cite EN 14351-2 in the Official Journal of the European Union without any further delay

SBS Director Christel Davidson said: “The implementation of the above three steps would allow the internal market for fire doors to deliver its full potential while ensuring that SMEs remain competitive.”

The full declaration is available via the following link.


Source: Small Business Standards press release sent on Monday 16 September 2019

IFSA response to MHCLG Consultation on Assessments in Lieu of Tests

Below is the response from the Intumescent Fire Seals Association (IFSA) to the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government consultation on amendments to statutory guidance on assessments in lieu of tests.

180525 IFSA Consultation Response to MHCLG


Statement of Condolence – Grenfell Tower Fire Disaster

Statement of Condolence

Grenfell Tower Fire Disaster

The Intumescent Fire Seals Association would like to offer its deepest condolences to the victims, their families and all those in the community affected by the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy in London.

Incidents of this kind are thankfully rare but they are a shocking reminder of why the Association and its member companies must continue to strive towards improvements in fire safety products and standards.

IFSA Commemorates the Retirement of Consultant Paul Baxter

News: IFSA Commemorates the Retirement of Consultant Paul Baxter


The Intumescent Fire Seals Association held its 35th Annual General Meeting in February, hosted by member company LKAB Minerals, Derby.

During the proceedings the association chose to mark the occasion of the retirement of long serving consultant, Paul Baxter.

Paul has supported the association for over thirty years, using his considerable expertise (and undoubted passion) in penetration sealing systems to promote the interests of the passive fire protection industry in the UK and Europe. He served on several standards committees, including the chairmanship of FSH 22/-/3, which is concerned with test procedures for penetration fire seals. 

Paul has been a perennial and tireless campaigner for effective penetration fire sealing systems and his retirement in 2016, though well deserved, was nonetheless a significant loss to the association.

Paying tribute to Paul, IFSA chairman, Lee Woodings said “Like every trade association IFSA only survives because of the effort and commitment given by volunteers from its member companies. We have been very lucky to have had such dedicated support from Paul for more years than I’m sure he’s prepared to admit, and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank him for the service he has provided to both IFSA and the UK passive fire protection industry.”

The Intumescent Fire Seals Association wishes Paul Baxter a long, healthy and happy retirement.

IFSA offers congratulations to BASF SE in commemorating the 50th anniversary of Palusol® fire-protection product

The Intumescent Fire Seals Association

offers its congratulations to

member company BASF SE

in commemorating the

50th anniversary of it’s

Palusol® fire-protection product.

Further information is available from :

e-mail: palusol@basf.com

website: www.palusol.com

IFSA strongly supports the Fire Door Safety Week initiative

The Intumescent Fire Seals Association [IFSA] strongly supports the Fire Door Safety Week initiative.

As most people will know, the intumescent seal that is visible around the perimeter of a fire door assembly plays a crucial role in maintaining the performance of the assembly under fire exposure. Many other intumescent products will be present in the construction, however, and while they may not be so obvious, they all contribute in some way to the overall performance of the assembly and the safety of building occupants.

The perimeter intumescent seal may itself be concealed under the edge lipping of a door leaf but other examples include –

Intumescent glazing seals around vision panels and a further hidden lining around the aperture, sandwiched between the glazing beads and the door core.
Air transfer grilles with an intumescent lattice matrix sandwiched between.
Intumescent liners within letter plate apertures.
Intumescent protective pads under the hinge leaves that would otherwise conduct excessive heat into the surrounding timber components, leading to premature degradation and breakdown.
Intumescent protective cladding around other hardware items such as locks, latches, keeps, shoot-bolts, security viewers, etc.
Intumescent sealant between the door frame and the wall construction.

Today’s fire door assemblies are highly dependent on intumescent technology and it is true to say that without the vital contributions from the intumescent elements, the fire integrity of the door assembly would be catastrophically compromised.

Further details are freely available from IFSA in the form of downloadable information sheets.

#1 – Intumescent Materials in Timber Fire Doors

or contact IFSA on
Tel: +44 (0) 1844 276928
Fax: +44 (0) 1844 274002
E-mail: contactus@ifsa.org.uk

Recent Developments In Glazing

News: Recent Developments In Glazing

There have been three main developments in fire resistant glass, all of which rely on adapted / specialist intumescent glazing systems and for different reasons:

1. Composite doors

There has been a growth in the use of composite doors (GRP faced mineral/foam core doors), typically as entrance doors for flats, with a corresponding increase in use of insulated glass units (IGU’s) within them. Door assemblies based on plastics and foams require a completely different approach to the more traditional timber or steel based constructions. There have been developments in glazing systems for these types of units within composite doors, which must be strictly followed if the IGU is to provide required level of fire resistance. Fire rated composite doors is a rapidly growing industry and there is a significant level of malpractice at the installation stage arising from a lack of understanding or appreciation of the glazing system.

2. Toughened glass technology

Fire resistant glass is a vital part of building design and there are two basic types, insulated and uninsulated. The insulated glass has more than one glass layer interleaved with another material which provides insulation to the required level by increasing the number of layers. Uninsulated glass was traditionally made fire resistant by the use of embedded wires forming a grid. This is very effective but has the disadvantage that the wires are visible. Later it was found that clear modified toughened glass was able to withstand the fire resistance test but only toughened borosilicate glass was sufficiently reliable since it benefitted from low thermal expansion compared with soda lime glass. Insufficiently toughened soda lime glass can fail quite quickly in a fire test, around 6 to 10 minutes being commonplace. However, recently there have been significant developments in toughened soda lime glass and a number of glass manufacturers are now able to produce reliable fire-rated toughened glass products.

These newer, more reliable modified toughened glass types still require appropriate intumescent seals around the perimeter in order to consistently work. Edge cover and temperature difference across the face of the glass is still critical to performance, as is protection to the beads from the heat of the glass and ensuring the pocket around the glass is adequately protected when the glass begins to expand and move. Intumescent seals help to accommodate the distortion of the soda lime glass and the consequent movement of the beads. Some intumescent glazing tapes are better than others in this respect so it is important to use the product that has been proven to work for the particular glass in question. Interchangeability of the intumescent glazing tape is not usually possible in fire glazing applications when using modified toughened soda lime glass.

3. Higher performance doorsets

There has been an increase in the use and specification of higher performance doorsets, which has required the development of innovative glazing systems that can accommodate different design features, bead materials, aperture sizes, as well as cope with other types of glass (other than ceramic which is the normal ‘go to’ glass at this level of performance). These types of glazing systems are highly specialist and must be installed correctly to cope with the extreme demands of 90 and 120 minute tests.

Further guidance on fire resistant glazing systems may be sought from the Intumescent Fire Seals Association:
Tel: +44 (0) 1844 276928
Fax: +44 (0) 1844 274002
E-mail: contactus@ifsa.org.uk