IFSA Marks Four Decades of Developing Standards for Passive Fire Protection Systems

The association’s quarterly members’ meeting in May provided a suitable platform for the staging of IFSA’s 40th anniversary commemorations.

Attendees to the event included representatives from member companies; and guests who had made significant contributions to IFSA’s past activities, or who represented related trade associations involved in passive fire protection.

Chairman Jim Kelly opened the proceedings with a welcome to the guests and an acknowledging nod to IFSA’s formation: “The association has developed incredibly since the founding fathers, led by Pete Jackman, some 40 years ago started their investigations into intumescent products that are now critical to the fire safety of buildings throughout the world.”

Fire door specialist Rob Mann, and a founder participant, then provided an overview of the historical circumstances that led to the formation of the association in 1982.  At that time, there was a perceived need for a British Standard intumescent seal, increasingly being utilized as a solution to the more onerous positive pressure fire testing regime of BS 476 Pt 8, introduced a few years earlier.  At the request of BSI, a group of the leading manufacturers co-operated to address this objective, initially developing a performance based evaluation in the form of BS 476 Pt 23, rather than a prescriptive standard, and following on over the next 40 years with many other projects of importance to the passive fire protection industry.

Technical expert David Cooper brought matters up to date with a presentation on IFSA’s recent work: a study of smoke control of fire doors which highlighted the need for threshold seals to be employed as part of the elements, rather than summarily disregarding the contribution offered to smoke transmission by an unsealed threshold. This work has already resulted in a revision to standard BS 9991, which should then follow on to BS 9999 and BS8214. He concluded with the association’s proposals to extend the study to double door configurations and the study of warm smoke.

The formalities were closed by Jim Kelly, with a recognition of the importance of the work carried out by IFSA and a toast to the next 40 years of the association’s existence.

Summing up the event, Jim said “To commemorate the day in the presence of many of our current members, retired members, previous chairmen and guests from other supporting trade organisations made a truly memorable occasion for all concerned. IFSA would like to thank all of those who attended to show to support to the organisation and, hopefully, our paths will continue to cross in the future as we collaborate with other trade organisations in order to enhance the fire safety of the buildings we all frequent.”

IFSA is always keen to welcome new members to its ranks, to help steer our efforts in continuing the work in developing a fire safe future. Further information on our 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).

IFSA Celebrates 40 Years of Activity

2022 marks a significant milestone in the history of the Intumescent Fire Seals Association, as we proudly commemorate our 40th anniversary.

The Association was formed in recognition of an almost complete absence of reference in regulations to intumescent seals, despite their being an essential part of timber fire door construction and without which it was virtually impossible to pass a fire resistance test.

It’s first achievement was to write a test method that quantified the contribution that intumescent seals made to the fire resistance of door assemblies, which eventually became BS476: Part 23, the first standard to fully identify the role and benefits of using intumescent seals.

Throughout its history, IFSA has continued to represent the interests of its members, raising the standards of the intumescent seals industry by making major contributions to the drafting of regulations and actively supporting the development of test standards in ISO and CEN.

Fire safety legislation is, unfortunately, largely driven by tragedy and even after 40 years there remains much work to be done in the field of fire and smoke containment in the built environment. IFSA’s most recent efforts have been as a leading participant in the Smoke Control Consultation Group (SCCG), currently engaged in demonstrating the importance of threshold seals in door assemblies, and amending the associated test methods and regulations in accordance with its findings.

IFSA will commemorate its accomplishments and present its plans for the future at its next Members’ Meeting in May. Further information on our 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).

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