In order to keep your building up to regulation standard, you may need to consider fire resistant paints and coatings. This may be something you’ve been asked to do by an authority or you may have chosen to do it simply as an additional precaution. Something you may see when considering these types of systems is the timing 30 minutes and 60 minutes. 30 and 60min protection far exceeds the usual British Standard Class 1 and Class 0 Surface Spread of Flame protection, but what do these timings mean and how can they help your property?
What is fire resistance time?
Any fire-resistant paints, varnishes or other coatings you purchase are specifically developed to meet a particular level of fire protection. Sometimes one product can meet multiple different levels of protection dependant on the substrate and how they are applied. These can include 30 and 60 minute fire resistance.
This means if a fire breaks out, a surface that has been treated correctly such as an interior wall, will be protected from the effects of a fire by a protective layer that is guaranteed to last for 30 minutes or 60 minutes, dependent upon which level is chosen.
30 – 60 minutes can give employees, residents, visitors or other persons enough time to safely escape a fire. These levels of protection are usually used on structural elements of a building to help maintain its integrity during a fire, also giving emergency services more time to control the outbreak of fire. Additionally, it can delay the spread of fire to other adjoining rooms and buildings, keeping the damage to a minimum.
In order for coatings to comply they must have been tested to certain BS 476 standards by an independent test facility.
How do I achieve it?
The great thing about fire resistant paints is that they often provide the easiest and least disruptive way of providing fire protection to a wide range of surfaces, not just wood. In the case of timber, an extremely flammable material, adding resistance time is crucial.
If you are going to paint the surface, use a fire retardant paint which will guard your timber and meets regulation standards. If you follow the supplier’s instructions carefully, you’ll be able to meet a 30 or 60 minute resistance time. Once you’ve painted the retardant onto the surface, you can move onto decorative finishes.
If you’d prefer to varnish the surface, you more than likely need to use a basecoat first which provides the necessary protection. A clear base coat with fire resistant properties is the first step. This, combined with a varnish overcoat will help you to achieve the appropriate resistance time.
Remember, it’s entirely possible to achieve a fire resistant finish on wood. To ensure sure you achieve the correct timings when you come to paint, contact the technical team at Rawlins Paints for advice.
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