When it comes to protecting your home or business from the threat of fire, it pays to know your terminology. Take a look at the various products available for fire prevention purposes and you’ll see a number of different terms being used to describe how the products work. But do you know exactly what all these phrases mean?
We often see products being sold as fire resistant or fireproof. Both terms are now in common usage in the marketing of a huge range of different items. And while the meaning of these terms appears quite clear, there are subtle differences in how the phrases are used to market different products.
It’s worth noting that both fireproof and fire resistant items will have very similar properties. In fact, the terms can be used interchangeably to give consumers a quick idea of any fire prevention measures that have been used in the manufacturing process. So why are some products called fire resistant, while others are more widely known as fireproof? Read on and we’ll reveal all.
What does fire resistant mean?
The term ‘fire resistant’ can be used to describe anything from building materials to products you’d find inside your home that can withstand the effects of fire. It’s also often used to explain that a product has been treated with chemicals, to reduce the risk of an item catching fire or helping fire to spread.
Fire resistant items are tested under strict conditions, to ensure that they can withstand a set intensity of heat without breaking down or being set alight. They also need to reduce the transmission of heat in the event of a fire.
While numerous products are sold with fire resistant properties, items can also be treated with fire retardants to improve their ability to withstand flames and heat. So it’s entirely possible to make a product fire resistant, even if it hadn’t always been that way.
What does fireproof mean?
‘Fireproof’ refers to anything thay can withstand great heat. The name of course suggests that a product is completely resistant to any type of fire, and cannot be burned under any circumstances. But unfortunately, almost any product can be burned when exposed to extreme levels of heat for sustained periods of time. While the term fireproof does mean that a product will be very difficult to burn, and can help stop the spread of fire, it’s important to remember that fire will always still pose some risk.
What Is The Difference Betweeen Fireproof and Fire Resistant?
When it comes down to it, fireproof and fire resistant have near identical definitions and can be used interchangeably. They both essentially refer to a material’s ability to withstand fire and heat.
Terms like fireproof and fire resistant can both be used to market products with very similar properties, so don’t be too swayed by one term over the other. If you’re purchasing an item that calls itself either fireproof or fire resistant, you can rest assured that the product will have very good fire safety measures built-in.
Fireproof products will usually have been treated with a reliable fire retardant. However they are sometimes also designed to withstand heat and flames, giving the end product even better fire resistant properties. Look out for both terms if you want to make sure your home or business is well protected from the threat of fire.
Testing products for fire resistance
A huge number of different products are now marketed as having flame-resistant, or heat-resistant properties. But the level of testing that different products undergo can vary quite substantially. If fire resistance is of particular importance, you may want to go one step further in your research and check how well a product has been tested.
The certification or rating of a product should tell you all you need to know about how it will perform in the event of a fire. Ratings are usually provided by Underwriters Laboratories. They tend to have a numbered class rating followed by a period of time that the product has been tested for.
UL Class 125 1-hour: If you see this rating, you’ll know that the product has been tested to ensure its temperature will remain below 125° F (52°C), even when it's exposed to an external heat source of over 1700°F (926°C) for one hour.
UL Class 350 1-hour: This rating is similar to the above, but in this case the product will have been tested to ascertain that its temperature will remain under 350° F (177°C) for an hour, while its exposed to an external heat source of over 1700°F (926°C).
There are several other different fire resistant certifications and ratings that will show for certain whether a product is sufficiently well protected from the threat of flames and heat.
Look out for ratings in the product descriptions or on its labels, or contact the manufacturer of the product in question if you’d like to find out more about how far its fire-resistant qualities have been tested in a laboratory setting. A quality manufacturer will be able to provide you with all the information you need.
Contact us to find out more about fire fighting products
Protect your property from fire with the help of fire retardant sprays. Our range of sprays can be used in a whole host of different settings, and have been designed to help keep your home or business safe and secure no matter what.
Browse our range of fire resistant products and choose from DIY fire retardant spray kits or ready to use solutions for quick and easy fire breaks. We have a number of different options for you to choose from, so you’ll have no trouble finding the perfect set for the job you have in mind.
If you’re not sure which product would best suit your needs, don’t hesitate to give our team a call. We’ll talk you through how our fire retardant products work, and help you choose the best protection for your specific requirements. Get in touch and we’ll do the rest.