We are asked to explain the fire safety of our engineered flooring products by our Australian customers. As is well known, choosing the right flooring products is critical to indoor fire safety as well as compliance to all kinds of fire supervision and inspection. However, it’s a complicated issue involving construction design and local regulation.

Before introducing the fire proof performance of engineered flooring products, we need to know what the Building Control Authority requires for the flooring fire safety, and how to test and evaluate the fire safety performance.


The Building Code of Australia (BCA) is produced and maintained by the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) on behalf of the Australian Government and State and Territory Governments. The BCA has been given the status of building regulations including fire safety by all States and Territories.

The BCA classifies buildings into 10 classes and a number of sub-class. The fire safety requirements of flooring materials in different building class are also different. Briefly, the schematic diagram of the classification of buildings in Australia is illustrated as follows:

It should be noted that each State’s and Territory’s legislation adopts the BCA subject to the variation or deletion of some of its provisions, or addition of extra provisions. These prosivions should always be consulted when making a Building Solution.

Standard for Fire Resistance Test

  • Adoption of Standard

According to the BCA, the flooring system in Australia must comply with the requirements of Critical Radiant Flux in AS ISO 9239.1-2013(R2016) Reaction to fire tests for floorings Part 1 :Determination of the burning behaviour using a radiant heat source (or equivalent, e.g. ISO 9239-1), which is not only adapted to timber flooring products, but also carpet, substrates, and underlay.

  • Test Method

The test AS ISO 9239.1 is conducted in a combustion chamber. Firstly, cut the flooring specimen into (1050±5)mm ×(230±5)mm. Then the horizontally laid test sample is heated along its length with an inclined radiant panel. The sample receives about 11 kW/m2 of heat energy from the panel at one end and about 1 kW/m2 at the other end.

The heat energy measured at the point of extinction is the Critical Radiant Flux (CRF, also called Critical Heat Flux CHF). The Critical Radiant/Heat Flux is basically the lowest energy a fire requires to keep burning hence the higher the value the better.

Smoke can also be measured over the duration according to AS ISO 9239.1. The total amount of light extinction (measured as a percentage) due to smoke obscuring a light beam in the flue in multiplied by the time of the test to give the result (in percent minutes).

BCA Requirements and Test Results

Specification C1.10a of the BCA states that a floor linings or floor covering must have:

  • A Critical Radiant Flux (CRF) not less than that listed in the table below; and
  • A maximum smoke development rate of 750 percent-minutes;, if the building is not protected by a sprinkler system complying with Specification E1.5 of the BCA.

We have sent our engineered flooring products to the certificated laboratory for fire safety test. As the timber flooring is an anisotropic material (not invariant respect to direction), flooring samples in longitudinal direction and transverse direction are both tested. The test report pages are illustrated below:

We can find in the results item that the Critical Flux of our engineered flooring products is far larger than the minimum requirements for most building classes. The Smoke Production is also lower than the request.

In a word, our engineered flooring products are acceptable to Australian fire safety requirements.

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