<< Architects Corner

Welcome to Architects Corner!
Today's fire protection technology using the latest fire and flame retardant applications.

New National Fire Codes recently put in affect have many architects and design firms scrambling to meet these new challenges. This is a good thing since most architects and designers do not want to see their work go up in flames. Planning is the key. Providing the latest and best technology to make all structures more fire and flame resistant is the goal. We are attempting to offer information as to codes, requirements and test approvals to aid all whom this may concern.  Depending on the structure to be constructed everything today from floor joist to roof decking from flame spread to hourly ratings. We are dedicated to assisting in this important field.  Wood structures are the most for concern.

The primary consideration for the immediate task is either reaching a fire rated acceptance with "pre-applied" fire retardant for lumber and plywood and such; or "on-site" flame retardant applications when construction is in progress.   Both are effective, but how, what or when do you have this flame retardant applied?

The KEY to understanding fire retardants is one of the issues we will try and address.

How do flame retardants work? (How It Works)

What should I look for in a flame retardant? First is to check the class of flame spread and smoke development. Is it Class A, B or C rating? This has to do with the flame spread and flying brand test. Is it UL, NFPA, ASTM E, UCB, Type1 or 2 qualified ? It should show if it meets these standards. However there has been much confusion in the rating systems. New fire codes wanting a project to meet a one or two hour rating is not always possible for all materials. Generally this is accomplished by a system or a method to help reach the objective. Some do not understand what the ratings mean and sometimes want to try and take short cuts which will not be excepted.

Will this give me a one hour rating? Fire and flame retardants are rated by "flame spread and smoke development" and if it meets the National Code. It can help with reaching a one hour rating as part of a system. One hour rating codes at present require fire rated gypsum board each board are rated at 1 hour, however to be completely safe the paper as well as any wood infrastructure should also have a fire retarded application. Heat build up can ignite any wood structure if not treated with fire retardant. This will provide maximum protection. This will positively reduce smoke and prevent gases from igniting the wood from heat.

Is there a a paint that can give a one hour rating? No! Paints are only skin deep. Yet one paint company claims that it does. Once the flame penetrates the paint skin you are back to square one. Fire retardant for paints and stains are a good way to add flame resistance but will not give total protection. FR paints can though help reach a rating as a system.

When fire or flame retardants are applied how long will they last?

Our products for wood structures are Fire Kote 100 a Class "A" heavy duty fire retardant ; flame spread 25, designed for commercial and industrial applications.   Wood Shield W-1000 is a Class "B", flame spread 45, commercial and residential interior applications.  When used exterior exposed to UV rays and the elements both products will last 5 years from weathering.  Up to 10 years if pre-applied by pressure however not all woods can handle pressure impregnation.  When Interior applications are applied and then covered by paint, stains or is sealed behind sheet rock etc. it can last  indefinitely. The reason is Universal's fire retardants for wood have surfactants to penetrate deep into the wood. When flame retardants are absorbed into the surface and cured it becomes part of the inner and outer part of the wood which creates a flame and heat barrier.  

Universal Fire Shield Products have been tested and meet or exceed these guidelines. What to look for. Many of the testing such as ASTM E84 and UL 723 or essentially the same test and all code numbers can be referenced and cross referenced on Google.com.

Depending on which product is to meet fire codes such as ASTM ES-20, ASTM E-84, UL 723, NFPA 255, NYCBC (MEA 406-87 and 407-87, SBCC. US Bureau of Ships (QPL) and all other major building codes.

We at Unishield International, LLC are here to help. Please feel free to call toll free and ask for Technical @ 1 888-290-3853 Western Division or 1-800-608-5699 Eastern Division


Other considerations: Complete fire protection begins with planning. When designing a new structure include the number one fire retardant Universal's Fire Kote 100 or Universal's Wood Shield W-1000. When it is written into the plans there will be no delays in construction. Too after application is complete and verified Universal Fire Shield can issue a "Certified Application Certificate" for the project.

At the construction stage every piece of lumber, wood surfaces and paper or fabric can be rendered fire safe and verified. This can be done on-site or in some cases be furnished by pre-applicators. For commercial buildings there are fire codes.  Remember at present the home owner is at his or her own risk when building their home.  The home or property owner have only minimum fire protection because most states do not require or impose flame retardant measures for home construction as they do commercial buildings.  Why? In time this should be changed.

It is up to you and the buyer to insist that fire and flame retardants be used to help preserve a house or multi-dwelling from massive burn-outs and save countless lives.  Most of the public at this stage is unaware of the flame retardant technology that is readily available.  The cost is minimal compared to the devastating losses. The best Insurance is prevention.  The best prevention method is treating a wood structure with Class A  or B fire retardant for complete positive fire protection now and for the future.

But what about the National Fire Code and reaching the 1 hour and 2 hour ratings needed. We recommend Unifire-X F-10 a Thermal type Spray On Coating.

Now lets look at Thermal Coatings. This application is totally different. This coating as a Spray On Application for steel beams, assemblies, fire walls, between floors, etc..

Click information  UniFire-X F-10 a thermal fire shield.

Our staff hopes this information has been informative and of help.

The Smithsonian Institution along with Universal Fire Shield Chemicals and other partners invite you to come together for a nationwide traveling exhibit. Visitors will be encouraged to record their memories or stories of the events of the 9/11 attacks. These will then be placed into the U.S. history archives along with other digital media including email and photos. To learn more or record your own stories please visit http://911digitalarchive.org/.

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If you need more information about fire retardants, and want to receive updated information via email click above.

Or call 1 888-290-3853 Western Division.

1 800-608-5699 Eastern Division.


Rev. 02/17/10