What are Fireproof Floors and Walls?
Fire-resistant flooring and wall systems include properties that are resistant to fire and will not structurally fail for a specified amount of time. These can be differentiated based on ASTM Methods. Fireproof floors and walls are able to catch on fire, but have the ability to self extinguish. While fire-resistant floors and walls are some of the safeguards that help protect people from harm, if a fire were to break out in your facility, it is essential that proper fire safety procedures are followed in order to save lives.
Standard Tests for Fire-Resistance
ASTM E648 – This is the standard test method for critical radiant flux of floor-covering systems using a radiant heat energy source. The critical radiant flux of the flooring is determined by igniting it to see how far the flame spreads prior to self-extinguishing. The higher the number, the better the fire resistance. A Class 1 fire rating requires the number to be greater than 0.45 W/cm2.
ASTM E662 – This is the standard test method for specific optical density of smoke generated by solid materials. The optical density is determined by the smoke generated when a sample is ignited. The lower the number, the better the fire resistance. Class 1 requires less than 450 Ds but can vary by local requirements for certain areas (means of egress, etc.)
ASTM E84 – This is the standard test method for surface burning characteristics of building materials. This tests the flame spread and optical density of smoke generated for building materials. Class 1 requires below 25 for flame spread and below 450 Ds for smoke generation.
Benefits of Fire-Resistant Floors and Walls
Fire-resistant flooring and wall systems reduce the spread of flames and smoke in the event of a fire-related incident within a facility.
Benefit highlights include:
- Reducing the spread of flames and smoke throughout a facility or area
- Providing greater protection of people and property during a fire-related accident/incident
- Gaining peace of mind/security against careless actions (e.g. the discarding of lit cigarettes)
Additional Benefits of Stonhard Fireproof Floors and Walls:
Nearly all industries benefit from the installation of fire-resistant flooring. In fact, most facilities require it.
Recommended industries include:
- Pharmaceutical-Biotechnology - research facilities, vivariums, laboratories
- Healthcare - hospitals, operating rooms, corridors
- Education - cafeterias, locker rooms, hallways, labs
- Office Buildings-Building Management - lobbies, corporate cafeterias, parking garages
- General Commercial - public spaces, entertainment venues, concourses
- Cannabis - laboratories, grow rooms
- Food & Beverage - processing areas
- Chemical-Mining - building interiors, manufacturing areas
*All Stonhard floors and walls are fire-resistant. The majority of Stonhard products qualify for a Class 1 rating. Our team of Territory Managers, Architectural and Engineering Representatives will assist you in finding the fire-resistant floor or wall system to meet your specific needs.
Recommended products include:
- Stonclad - general manufacturing, food and beverage, chemical & mining, pharmaceutical & biotechnology
- Stonblend - pharmaceutical, healthcare, educational, laboratory, corporate
- Stonblend - parking garages and mechanical equipment rooms
- Stonglaze - (for walls) hospitals, commercial/industrial kitchens, vivariums, research facilities
- Stonres - public spaces -- museums, lobbies, arenas, also healthcare, education and retail
- Stontec - fast install for new construction -- healthcare, education, entertainment venues
- Stoncrete - schools, retail locations, other commercial and front-of-house spaces
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT FIRE RESISTANT FLOORS AND WALLS
Q: What type of flooring is fire-resistant?
A: Flooring materials today are manufactured to be flame retardant, that is, they resist ignition, continuous burning and spreading of flames, and minimize smoke. Fibrous materials like carpets are manufactured for safety, wool being considered the most fire retardant. It is always important to consider the appropriate space for flooring, however, as a wool carpet would not be recommended for a residential or commercial kitchen. Cork floors are naturally fireproof and wood floors are also safe for the home and specific spaces in commercial businesses. Vinyl flooring, ceramic tile, and natural stone are fire resistant and often used in home kitchens. For industrial spaces and commercial kitchens, resinous floors are not only fire resistant, but provide many other critical benefits that floors manufactured for the home cannot offer.
Q: What are fireproof floors and walls made of?
A: Concrete, brick, and stucco are materials that help a building be more resistant to fires. Also, aluminum studs in place of wooden structures add to fireproofing efforts.
Q: Is vinyl flooring fireproof, or a fire hazard?
A: Vinyl flooring is neither fully fireproof, nor is it a fire hazard. Vinyl flooring can help resist burning and can prevent fires from spreading in areas.
Q: Why is fire protection in restaurants and kitchens so important?
A: Fires happen most commonly in restaurant kitchens due to open flames and high temperatures, as well as flammable fuels and materials, all existing within a busy, tight space. There are many requirements that must be followed in a commercial kitchen to ensure the safety of personnel and patrons. Fire-resistant floors and walls are a crucial part of constructing a safe space.
This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user/owner of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use, including what fire resistance is best suited for its environment.