Using fire retardant artificial plants is a simple way to reduce safety risks – while still ensuring that your decor looks great. ULAND artificial plants are an excellent option for architects, landscapers, commercial event planners, or interior designers. However, our clients are constantly wondering whether or not they should use fire retardant artificial plants for their projects.
What are fire retardant artificial plants?
Fire retardant or flame retardant/ fire-rated (commonly abbreviated as FR) artificial plants and trees are a mystery.
There are currently two kinds of fire retardant artificial plants and trees on the market: inherent fire retardant and surface treated.
- Surface application by spraying or dipping. Not recommended. This is a temporary application that will eventually wash off and dissipate.
- FR additives are included in the manufacturing process. The best option with the most benefits.
Surface treated flame-resistant artificial plants have either been dipped into a flame-resistant solution or sprayed. This causes the surface to be slightly greasy, shiny and attract dust particles. Another disadvantage of surface-treated plants is that they can not be certified because there’s no guarantee that the spray is evenly smeared. For these reasons, we do not provide spraying solutions!
How do artificial plants become inherent fire retardant?
Both fabric and plastic components are either inherently or independently molded or manufactured with fire retardant materials.
Fabrics of artificial plants are impregnated with flame retardants. This is done before the leaves are molded into shape, preventing a sticky film from forming on the leaves and ensuring that the flame retardant does not wash off or dissipate.
Artificial plants made in this way are classified as “inherent fire retardant” (IFR) and last for their lifetime. If a lighter is held up to an IFR silk plant (although it’s never a good idea to try a flame, so please don’t!), the leaf will blacken and smoke, but it will not catch fire or spread.
Does fire retardant mean fireproof?
Buying fire retardant artificial plants or trees does not mean that they are fireproof. Only the foliage and the stem molding is actually flame resistant. The stem of the tree (which is normally made from natural wood) hasn’t been treated and will burn.
Also, flame-resistant (or fire retardant) artificial foliage does what it says on the tin – resists flames. If the foliage is exposed to constant and extreme heat, it will eventually catch light or melt.
See how quora answer the difference between a fireproof material and a fire-resistant material.
In general, fire-retardant materials have been chemically treated to slow ignition, burning, or self-extinguish when exposed to an open flame. Regardless of the original material, it must be chemically treated to retard the spread of flames.
Fire-resistant and flame-resistant products are designed to be nonflammable at a chemical level and self-extinguish without melting or dripping when directly exposed to extreme heat.
Ultimately, nothing is entirely fireproof.
What are fire tests and standards?
Fire codes and regulations vary nationally and internationally. So it is essential to research fire codes and collect testing data from an area of where the foliage will be installed. Fire officials will ask for this testing at the time of installation. So do your research and don’t make the mistake of installing non-flame retardant product if your project mandates fire retardant materials.
In an effort to help our clients determine whether or not their project requires the use of flame retardant foliage, we have done some preliminary research.
The most widely followed standard to determine fire retardancy in America is the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) 701 Standard: Methods of Fire Tests for Flame Propagation of Textiles and Films. This test measures:
- the flammability of a material when it is exposed to specific sources of ignition.
- the ignition resistance of a material after it is exposed to a flame for 12 seconds. The flame, char length, and flaming residue are recorded.
For fire retardant artificial plants, they must pass the NFPA 701 test. Of course, you’d better also know these fire codes regulations for commercial or buildings.
How are the ULAND artificial plants tested to be fire retardant?
To meet interior fire codes for building commit, we provide our IFR artificial greenery hedge walls certified by ISO13823 fire tests for level B+ fire-retardant effect and passed NFPA 701 flame test for applications to the building.
Here is a summary of the NFPA 701 flame test:
- The flame must be propane or butane.
- No wind is allowed; the air must be still.
- Hold the artificial hedge panel vertically, 1 meter above the floor.
- Apply the flame to the artificial hedge for 12 seconds, then remove the flame.
- After the flame is removed, the artificial box hedge must stop burning within 2 seconds.
- While the flame is applied to the artificial boxwood hedge, no burning blobs of plastic can reach the floor.
What types of fire retardant artificial plants are there?
With an incredibly realistic appearance, premium quality materials, and fire-retardant properties guaranteed for life, ULAND fire-rated plants and foliage are a great choice for architects, landscapers, and interior designers to add a special touch any project.
Should you purchase fire retardant artificial plants?
For most customers, our range of standard artificial plants, trees, and foliage is ideal. By buying non-flame resistant artificial plants, you get a far greater choice at a lower price.
The exception to this is if you are buying for public buildings or commercial premises. We then recommend that you seek advice from your fire safety officer before ordering silk plants for commercial use. Still, here are just a few reasons why fire retardant artificial plants are so important.
It’s safer for your workplace.
As people pay more and more attention to health and safety, most employers are extremely conscious of reducing risk. Interior environments should never threaten the safety of staff and customers. Would you mind asking yourself if you’re actually adding flammable items for your interior design? Plus, depending on where you’re based, your local regulations may insist upon fire retardant artificial plants…
Fire retardant artificial plants meet regulations.
To generalize, many states and cities are increasingly requiring public buildings to have fire retardant artificial plants and trees, and some will ask you to keep a copy of certificates proving that your organization’s foliage is fire retardant.
If you are the venue, planner, or rental company, you want to make sure that your decorations are fire retardant. Again, some states or individual venues may need to see certificates. Aside from this, you really want your event to be safe!
Above all, using fire retardant artificial plants will help prevent potentially costly mistakes later. It’s better to be safe than sorry!