What does fire-rated mean?
Fire-rated wood is coated with chemicals that withstand ignition and can significantly lower the spread of fire. Many of these same products are tested for how well they keep up in heat, high moisture, and corrosivity. Fire-rated wood’s safety attracts buyers, can reduce insurance costs, as well as can help save lives.
The difference between fire-rated (or fire-resistant) and fire-retardant
Fire-resistant material is resistant to catching fire and will not drip or melt when exposed to high or extreme heat. Fire retardant material is chemically infused wood that can completely self-extinguish and can delay time for fire damage.
Fire-resistant wood has a rating; this fire-resistance rating determines the duration for which wood coated with fire-resistant chemicals can withstand a fire. This is most often measured with time or can be measured with functionality or usefulness for purpose.
Class A, B, and C Flame Spread Ratings
Fires are responsible for thousands of deaths, many injuries, and billions of dollars of damage every year. The use of strict building codes has become the best way to reduce these losses. The building and construction industry are often required to use fire-resistant materials when using these codes. This led to buildings creating specific code requirements based on a fire-resistant classification.
The degree to which fire-resistant wood products protect between fire and combustible material is known as its flame spread rating. Flame ratings have three classifications:
Class A – These materials are effective against severe fire exposure and have a flame spread rating between 0 and 25.
Class B– These materials are effective against moderate fire exposure and have a flame spread rating between 25 and 75.
Class C– These materials are effective against moderate fire exposure and have a flame spread rating between 76 and 200.