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Insurers call for more fire testing

MATERIALS

FULL-SCALE fire tests must be carried out on all new products and building systems before a building's behaviour in fire conditions can be fully appreciated, according to insurers representatives.

Speaking at a fire safety insulation seminar last week, Alan Macpherson, chief engineering specialist at insurance and risk management giant FM Global, claimed there was no point in carrying out smallscale tests as they bore little resemblance to an actual fire.

He called for more full-scale fire tests to help insurance companies decide on the correct levels of cover.

He said: 'In my opinion small-scale fire tests just do not work.

'It is too difficult to correlate the results from small-scale tests to the full-scale performance of a building.'

Mr Macpherson also highlighted problems caused by the overuse of combustible adhesives, such as bitumen, with supposedly non-combustible materials.