Marcello Hirschler, in the editorial of the industry newsletter FS&TB July 2016 (Fire Safety and Technology Bulletin), summarises questions around fire safety of building insulating external cladding materials (facades). This was widely discussed at Interflam 2016 and at IBC and NFPA fire code meetings.
Testing is not standardised between different countries, e.g. ISO 13785 parts 1 & 2, NFPA 285 or FM4880 in the USA, DIN E4102 Germany, BS 8414 in the UK, LEPIR France, and others. Mr Hirschler underlines that the fire testing should consider the whole cladding system as used (not just whether or not the insulating material is combustible). Fire tests should realistically reflect real situations. He states that fire retardant treated wood (FRTW) also needs to be better regulated and assessed. In addition, decorative materials or other potentially flammable items (such as garbage containers or laundry carts) should not be placed against building walls.