Timber treatment specialists Arch Timber Protection have released a series of e-shots focusing on the importance of compliant fire retardant treatments for timber in order to meet the latest standards. The Arch fire retardant sales team, based in Castleford, West Yorkshire, have also published guidance to illustrate what architects and other specifiers should be looking for when specifying fire retardant treated timber.

The traditional British Standards (BS) of Class 1 and Class 0 are gradually being replaced with the new Euroclass reaction to fire tests, resulting in construction projects having to meet either Euroclass B or C in regards to fire testing. This has resulted in a key change in terms of providing fire certification in order to evidence compliance. The production of a fire test report was the standard requirement for BS Class 1 or BS Class 0, but this is no longer the case with the new Euroclasses.

For Euroclasses, tests are carried out under EN ISO 13823 (the single burning item test) and EN ISO 11925 (the ignitability test). These results are then evaluated taking the end use of the timber into consideration and a classification report is issued accordingly by a notified body to BS EN 1350-1. A fire test report alone is no longer sufficient evidence to demonstrate compliance for the new Euroclasses.

Specifiers must ensure that each classification report is specific to the types of timber being used in the project, ensuring that class of treatment, the thickness of the timber, the specie and whether the material will be fixed directly to a backing material is specific to their project. Unless a correct and relevant classification report can be shown from an independent body, then there will be doubts about the legitimacy and suitability of the treatment.

Tom Day, Arch Timber Protection’s fire retardant business development manager, believes that ensuring compliancy is of paramount importance and sets a standard for the whole industry. Tom says, “Arch has invested in a wide range of independent tests with our proven fire retardant pre-treatments for timber, DRICON for interior timbers and NON-COM Exterior for external applications, to offer classification reports to meet all the above factors. We will only treat timber where a full classification report can be provided to ensure compliancy.”