Class A Fire Rating for Modular Wall Partitions: A Safety Standard

Class A Fire Rating for Modular Wall Partitions: A Safety Standard

Modular wall partitions are an extremely useful modern tool for a variety of sectors. From renovation work at major airports and healthcare facilities to pop-up government housing and disaster relief stations, temporary wall systems are excellent at separating construction from on-going commercial activity in addition to offering the capability to remodel interiors in order to optimize for short and even long-term usage.

For many of the use-case environments of temporary wall systems, protection from fire is a must. For example, partitioning a large disaster relief tent to house staff and victims wouldn’t be a safe haven if the partitions themselves were a fire hazard. In busy airports or healthcare facilities during extensive renovations, activity is already being affected by the distraction and cannot suffer further risks to their populations without excellent fire-rated temporary wall systems.

In this article, we will define the Class A Fire Rating and explore an excellent temporary wall system product line that features this important material characteristic.

Understanding Fire Ratings and Fire Retardant Classifications

During the huge boom in commercial building in the 40s and 50s, a number of very useful building materials were used without considering their combustibility. When fires broke out in these large structures, the materials readily ignited and led to a tremendous loss of life. In response, a series of fire protection standards were instituted by state, local, and the federal government to form strict building codes based upon a fire retardant classification system.

Since then, building materials are subjected to testing flame spread via the Method of Test of Surface Burning Characteristics of Building Materials standard from the National Fire Protection Agency, known as NFPA 255, and the ASTM E-84 standard from the American Society for Testing and Materials to adhere to the requirements of the “Fire Hazard Classification of Building Materials” testing standard, known as UL 723 in the US and CAN/ULC S-102 in Canada.

The results of these tests on materials determine their fire retardant classification, a scale that is split into 5 divisions and denoted by the letters A through E.

Fire Rating Classifications

Class A: Flame spread rating of 0 to 25, that offers effective resistance to severe fire exposure.

Class B:  Flame spread rating of 26 to 75, that offers effective resistance to moderate fire exposure.

Class C: Flame spread rating of 76 to 200, that offers effective resistance to light fire exposure.

Class D and Class E: Flame spread rating of 201 to 500 and over 500, respectively, and are not considered effective against fire exposure.

Why Utilizing Wall Partitions with High Fire Ratings is Important

an image of a Class A Fire-Rated Wall Partitions from SwiftWall® in a public airport

Modern wall partitions are a highly adaptable product used to partition interior spaces to changing needs. Their most common use is on the jobsite by replacing traditional temporary wall systems with a better product that installs faster, offers more durability, and can come with Class A fire ratings. This is important as the chances of fire from construction activity can be higher.

Similarly, when performing construction renovations in location where other operation nearby remain functional—such as in major airports, healthcare facilities, and education building, and retail establishments—there needs to be a way to provide a barrier between the activity and the construction—ideally one that offers Class A fire protection.

Traditional temporary walls made from stud and drywall are labor-intensive, wasteful, and have poor fire protection levels. 

Modern temporary wall systems, on the other hand, install up to 5x faster than traditional temporary walls and can even be installed, taken down, and reused by one person. Not to mention, they have a Class A fire protection level, unlike traditional temporary construction wall methods.

Class A Fire-Rated Wall Partitions from SwiftWall®

an image of a class A fire-rated wall Partitions from SwiftWall® used in a grocery store

No matter your use-case, there is a SwiftWall® wall system ready to provide the best in modern wall partitions. We know the importance of fire protection and it’s why our wall systems are engineered to offer customers up to a Class A fire rating. 

Contact our experts today to discuss your specific project needs and learn more about our product line to keep your project safe from fire!


SwiftWall® offers temporary walls and construction barriers that provide a simple, quick and sustainable alternative to drywall.
© 2022 SwiftWall®