Getting Fired Up
Due diligence essential before servicing orders
With autumn fire safety campaigns starting with Fire Door Safety Week (21st-27th September), equipping your staff with the basic facts about timber products and flame-retardant treatments is the first step towards protecting your reputation and your customers’ safety.
The Timber Trade Federation and Wood Protection Association have a range of leaflets giving the facts about what flame retardant treatments do, and why they’re important.
Fit for purpose?
Knowing whether a product is fit for purpose means understanding some terminology. Your customer may require a certain Euroclass ‘Reaction to Fire’ rating. Euroclass B is the highest level that wood-based products can achieve with a factory-applied, quality-tested flame retardant treatment.
You may also see a little letter ‘s’, which gives the smoke generating rating; s-0 is the best performance. A little letter ‘d’ shows the generation of flaming droplets that could spread a fire: again d-0 indicates best performance. Check each product’s Declaration of Performance (DoP) to make sure it matches the customer’s spec.
Flame retardants inside and out
Flame retardant treatments slow the growth rate of a fire, giving more time for escape and for flames to be extinguished. They are factory applied, either through pressure impregnation or during the manufacture of boards such as FR plywoods, FR OSB and FR MDF.
TTF and WPA strongly advise against brush on flame-retardant coatings, as their effectiveness depends on how well they have been applied.
Don’t forget standard products
Ask your supplier for a copy of the product’s Reaction to Fire Classification Report for your files. If they can’t provide it then find another supplier. Be aware that if the Classification Report says Euroclass B has been achieved on 25mm Spruce boards mounted on plasterboard with no air gap, then the fire test results are only applicable to exactly that type of product and installation situation.
Fire doors are rated FD30 or FD 60, giving 30 or 60 minutes’ protection against the spread of fire. Remind your customers that installation instructions (including specified ironmongery) must be followed exactly, without cutting corners, for the protection to be valid. Find a supplier at: ttf.co.uk/find-a-member-product/