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BCA regulations for Fire Hazard Ratings

The BCA requires that all (flammable) interior cladding materials used in Class 2 to 9 Buildings must be rated for their Fire Hazard Group Number. Table 2 below sets out where the different Fire Hazard Group Numbers are required (Group 1 is the most fire resistant, Group 3 the least). To comply with the BCA, suppliers need to provide Fire Hazard certificates/test reports for their products. Advice from the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) is that these certificates/test reports need to cover the Product System. In the case of veneer, this means that the substrate with the veneer glued onto it must be tested/certified (the Fire test result for just the raw veneer or raw MDF is not acceptable). Additionally, advice from the ABCB is that every type/species of veneer on substrate (including every type of reconstituted veneer) needs to be included on the certificate/test report.

TABLE 2 - FIRE HAZARD GROUP NUMBERS REQUIRED
Materials Groups Permitted for Wall and Ceiling Lining Materials in Class 2 - 9 Buildings

Class of building Fire-isolated exits Public corridors Specific areas Other areas
Wall/ceiling Wall Ceiling Wall Ceiling Wall/ceiling
Class 2 or 3
Excluding accommodation buildings for the aged, people with disabilities and children
Unsprinkled 1 1, 2 1, 2 1, 2, 3 1, 2, 3 1, 2, 3
Sprinkled 1 1, 2, 3 1, 2, 3 1, 2, 3 1, 2, 3 1, 2, 3
Class 3 or 9a
Accommodation buildings for the aged, people with disabilities and children or health care buildings
Unsprinkled 1 1 1 1, 2 1, 2 1, 2, 3
Sprinkled 1 1, 2 1, 2 1, 2, 3 1, 2, 3 1, 2, 3
Class 5,6,7,8 or 9b schools
Unsprinkled 1 1, 2 1, 2 1, 2, 3 1, 2 1, 2, 3
Sprinkled 1 1, 2, 3 1, 2, 3 1, 2, 3 1, 2, 3 1, 2, 3
Class 9b other than schools
Unsprinkled 1 1 1 1, 2 1, 2 1, 2, 3
Sprinkled 1 1, 2 1, 2 1, 2, 3 1, 2, 3 1, 2, 3
Class 9c aged care buildings
Unsprinkled Unsprinklered Class 9c buildings not permitted
Sprinkled 1 1, 2 1, 2 1, 2, 3 1, 2, 3 1, 2, 3

LIFT Cars - BCA Specification C1.10a - Section 4
In a lift car, the fire hazard properties of materials used as wall & ceiling linings must be a Group 1 or Group 2 material.

Coatings and Joinery - BCA Section C1.10 - Fire Hazard Properties
Paint or fire-retardant coatings must not be used to make a substrate comply with the required fire hazard properties. (NSW C1.10). The (Fire Hazard) requirements do not apply to a material or assembly if it is a joinery unit, cupboard, shelving or to paint, varnish, lacquer or similar finish, other than nitro-cellulose lacquer (which should be excluded from specifications for walls and ceilings).