One often overlooked facet of fire prevention is the materials being used for the construction of your home or business. An easy way to prevent potential fires and stifle fires in progress is with fire resistant flooring. This is quickly becoming the standard as there has been a notable drop in prices as well as more pleasant aesthetics for fire resistant materials used in flooring. Here we’ll look at some of your options when it comes to flooring for your home or business and fire prevention.
Fire resistant flooring is a great example of what is called ‘passive fire protection.’ The basic idea is set it up and forget about it and when the time comes it’ll go to work containing and slowing the spread of fire. Additional examples of passive fire protection include fire resistant walls, doors, and the general concept of compartmentalization. Passive fire protection is integral to structural fire protection and fire safety for any home or business.
What Materials Work?
The basics of fire resistance are usually broken down into two very important categories. Firstly, how flammable is this material? For example, carpets once upon a time represented the antithesis of fire protection for their ability to quickly and rampantly spread a fire out of control. Now, of course, there are more regulations in order and carpeting in the United States is regulated for fire safety (though it still doesn’t stand up to the real stuff). The second category when considering a fire resistant material is how much smoke does it generate if it is being burned? This aspect of fire safety is often overlooked despite the common knowledge that smoke inhalation is almost always the most dangerous part of a fire. Additionally, does the burning of this material give off other noxious gases?
The most common solution is usually some form of laminate flooring specifically designed for fire resistance. There are so many varieties available and they are quickly becoming much more aesthetically pleasing. Additionally, cork is becoming a popular option among modern home owners because it is naturally fire resistant due to a chemical element ‘suberin’ found in the cell walls and cork additionally does not emit any harmful gases upon combustion.
Of course, the right kind of stone, concrete, brick, or even dense timber are all viable options for fire resistant flooring but will usually be more expensive than the plywood laminates available. In general a well constructed home and floor of brick and mortar is still a classic favorite as it won’t begin to degrade until 1200-1300 degrees and has the ability to withstand even otherwise devastating fires.
So, take some time to consider the boons of passive fire safety and find the right flooring for your home or business.