Flame resistant or fire-retardant plants and trees come across as an enigma, especially when fire hazards around the world claim lives ranking in the millions. As one can imagine, people can't figure out how they came to be, but everyone would surely love to have one. But there's a lot which one must know about them before committing to buying one for their houses:
How are they made?
This is the question which plagues everyone's mind whenever they come across these plants. As such, there are two ways through which they are made fire resistant:
By opting for surface spraying or dipping. Here the artificial plant gets coated with a thin layer of fire-resistant material, but this is a very short application which is sure to get washed off eventually and dissipate.
FR Additives are added during the manufacturing process, and this process gives the most benefits since both the fabric as well as the plastic components of the trees get molded by fire retardant materials.
Check building code requirements
There are strict building codes in place to reduce damage caused to property and lives. So, before ordering for the plants make sure to check your building code requirements and ensure if there are regulations put on the use and storage of fire retardant plants and trees. Fire and building codes vary both nationally and internationally, so it is essential to know what your local area prescribes for.
Carry out research on fire codes and testing data
No matter where you buy your fire-resistant plants and trees from, during the process of installation fire officials will surely ask for testing data and fire codes. Make sure to be effective and efficient in your research and don't make the ignorant mistake of installing any retardant materials if your commercial project asks for the opposite.
Is it cost effective to get one?
It should be kept in mind that fire-resistant solutions sprayed on artificial plants are just meant for temporary use. The prices of these products are higher than the regularly found artificial foliage. As such it may not turn out to be that cost-effective, especially when compared to the IFR products. But the cost isn't the only issue which plagues surface treated fireproof plants. They might change appearance and look flakier and with a very dusty and flimsy feel to it due to the solution being sprayed on.
Which fireproofing technique to opt for?
Listed before were two ways of fireproofing a plant, but the best option will be to buy plants which have fire retardant chemicals injected in their leaves and branches during the injection molding process. This technique is safer, more resilient to fire and the trees have a much better appearance than those plants which get sprayed on and then gradually become discolored and spotted. Moreover, this process falls within the fire codes which protects consumers from the various risks associated with commercial grade fireproof artificial foliage.
Look for certification
The leaves and branches present in the natural flame resistant trees are made up of materials which are naturally resistant to the naked flame. So the flame retardant artificial foliage is tested to that of BS5852, which is a safety code. Make sure you get the certification related to these as well as other tests and products which guarantee the plant's fireproofing ability. Also ask for the certification or grading of the artificial plant, regarding the position it takes on the fireproof scale.
Surface treated plants don't get certification
Artificial foliage which gets treated by either being dipped into a flame resistant solution or by being sprayed, don't get the certification for being fireproof. This is because there is no way to guarantee if the resolution or spray has been even applied evenly. Moreover, the slightly greasing surface upon the spraying becomes a hotbed for attracting dust particles, which will look bad if you are buying the fire retardant plants for your establishment. That's why it is advisable to avoid these plants altogether.
The whole flame retardant tree isn't fireproof
There is a common misconception people have while buying a flame resistant artificial plant or tree- that the entire tree would be fireproofed, but that isn't the case. It should be noted that just the stem molding and the foliage is actually flame resistant. The stem of the tree doesn't get treated, and as such it will burn if it catches a naked fire. Also, it should be noted that a flame resistant tree resists flames. So if the heating temperature remains constant or rises then the foliage will eventually catch on fire or even melt.
What types of artificial foliage should one buy?
The type of artificial foliage being bought depends on the intent of use. It is also advisable to consult the fire safety officer before purchasing anything. People operating a restaurant or other eating and entertainment establishments can use fire retardant faux outdoor topiary with lights or perhaps some outdoor artificial plants and trees to make a positive impression on customers. But people buying them for their homes can undoubtedly make use or some artificial bushes, plants, and trees for indoor use. An artificial boxwood hedge with planter box would work too. But anyone can mix it up with some large artificial outdoor trees for privacy indoors or form a shade where people can rest.
The Plant Arrangement
Before buying fire retardant trees and plants, make sure to accurately survey the area you are going to put them in. After that create a proper plan on where and how to put them. Using fire resistant plants is indeed a cheap alternative, but it is also important to arrange them well especially if they are bought in bulk. This will merely increase their efficiency and effectiveness a lot.
Fire retardant artificial plants are cost effective and also beautiful to look at. They also negate the kind of maintenance which natural and even other types of fake plants need. Having one of these will improve not just the aesthetic beauty of the place, but it will also ensure its survival.