- By Alick
- In Artificial Plants 101
- Posted Apr 14 2016
Flame resistant (commonly called fire retardant) artificial trees are an enigma. We get plenty of enquiries for flame resistant artificial trees, but very few people can actually explain why they need them and if they can the following information usually changes their mind.
Disclaimer: Blooming Artificial has specifically chosen not to sell flame resistant artificial plants. This is simply because there is no legal requirement for them in the UK or the EU (we’ve checked!), they are roughly 30% more expensive than their non-FR counterparts and quite frankly the name is misleading.
What’s currently available?
There are currently two different types of flame resistant artificial plants and trees on the market: inherently flame resistant and surface treated.
The foliage on inherently flame resistant trees is made from materials which are chemically treated to resist ignition from a naked flame – e.g. a match or lighter. Inherently flame resistant artificial foliage is tested to BS5852. Some companies will provide a certificate for these items.
Surface treated flame resistant artificial plants have either been dipped into a flame resistant solution or sprayed.
This results in a slightly greasy surface which looks shiny and attracts dust particles – erghhh! The other drawback with surface treated plants is that they cannot be certified as there is no guarantee that the spray or solution has been applied evenly. It’s for these reasons that we don’t provide a spray-on solution either!
So inherently flame resistant trees are fireproof…
Buying a flame resistant artificial tree does not mean your tree is fireproof. Only the foliage and the stem moulding is actually flame resistant. The stem of the tree (which is normally made from natural wood) hasn’t been treated and will burn.
Also flame resistant (or fire retardant) artificial tree foliage does what it says on the tin – resists flames. If the foliage is exposed to constant and extreme heat it will eventually catch light or melt.
So, should you buy flame resistant (or fire retardant) artificial plants and trees?
For the majority of customers, our range of artificial plants, trees, flowers and foliage is ideal. By buying non-flame resistant artificial plants you get a far greater choice at a much lower price.
The exception to this is if you are buying for public buildings or commercial premises. We then recommend that you seek advice from your fire safety officer before purchasing either standard or flame resistant artificial trees.
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