Flame Retardants for Timber - An Overview
with signposts to WPA Guidance Notes
The fundamentals of flame retardant treatment for wood with references to relevant WPA resources for further detail.
This document replaces the WPA Flame Retardant Specification Manual (issued in 2018)
FR FAQs and Guidance Notes
Q. What's the difference between 'reaction to fire' and 'fire resistance'?
WPA FR1: Understanding Fire Protection Terms - Reaction to Fire and Fire Resistance
The WPA gets asked many questions about the fire protection of wood used in construction, this being one of the most frequent. These terms do have very different definitions and it's fundamental to know the difference when specifying flame retardants.
Q. What's does 'combustibility' actually mean in terms of building materials?
WPA FR2: Understanding Fire Protection Terms - Combustibility
Detailing what is meant by the combustibility of wood and the test standards that define the reaction to fire properties of FR treated wood/wood based panels and building materials in general.
Q. How do I specify the Flame Retardant treated wood for its Service Environment ?
WPA FR3: Understanding Fire Protection Terms - the Service Environment
Before specifying enhancement using a flame retardant, two specification fundamentals must be established: what reaction to fire performance is required and what is the service environment?
Q. How does the Construction Products Regulation (CPR) affect FR treated wood?
WPA FR4: FR Rated Timber Products and the CPR
Those who manufacture construction products for which a harmonised standard exists have an obligation to draw up a Declaration of Performance (DoP) and apply a CE mark when the product is first placed on the market.
Q. What do current building regs say about timber cladding and fire treatment?
WPA FR5: External Timber Cladding and Fire Risk - Guidance to amended Building Regulations (July 2022)
In the wake of the Grenfell fire tragedy, the UK government has conducted a series of consultations into
the use of different cladding materials on high rise buildings. Read about the latest results and how this impacts timber.
Q. What do I need to know when specifying flame retardants for timber?
WPA FR6: FR Specification Checklist
This check-list provides a step by step guide to ensuring that fire retardant treatments for wood-based materials are fit for purpose.
Q. What is a Fire Test Classification Report?
WPA FR7: Understanding a Fire Test Classification Report to EN13501-1
Evidence of the efficacy of an FR enhancement of timber, following appropriate testing, will be found in a Classification Report. This guidance note explains the elements found in a report and details what a specifier should be looking for.
Q. Who's responsible for the DoP and CE marking of Flame Retardant (FR) treated timbers?
WPA FR8: Understanding the Flame Retardant Treated Wood Supply Chain
This note examines the different routes to Construction Product Regulation (CPR) compliance and sets out in simple terms the responsibilities of FR teated wood manufacturers, suppliers and distributors.
Q. What are my responsibilities as a distributor of FR treated wood products?
WPA FR9: Effective Traceability throughout the Flame Retardant Treated Wood Supply Chain
This Guidance Note addresses the more complex situation where distributors/owners of non-FR stock send material to a third-party service company for FR treatment before selling it on to the open market.
Q. How can I be assured of quality flame retardant treatments and products?
WPA FR10: Assuring Quality through the Flame Retardant Treated Wood Supply Chain
From treatment, through manufacture and distribution - see how WPA's Benchmark quality approval schemes can help.
Q. What does CWFT - Classification Without Further Testing mean?
WPA FR11: Understanding Fire Protection Terms - Classification without further testing (CWFT)
In some cases, it is possible to classify untreated wood-based products without further testing as long as these products meet the requirements set out in the relevant harmonised technical specification.
Q. How do I mark my treated wood product to be in line with current rules?
INFORMATION: A Guide to Marking Wood (treated with a preservative or flame retardant)
From the end of the Brexit transition period (31 December 2020) new rules apply to the marking of timber in the UK outside of N. Ireland – the area called Great Britain or GB). This Information document provides model examples of markings for treated timber products.
Guidance for businesses on how to implement this upcoming Code which addresses the need to ensure product information provided to buyers is clear, unambiguous, accurate, up-to-date and accessible.
Q. Does it matter how I describe my products in marketing materials?
Code for Construction Product Information (CPPI) Implementation Advice
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