According to the latest issue of SA Fire Loss Statistics, 436 deaths were caused by fires across a number of industries, domestically. The majority of these deaths occurred in formal and informal dwellings. Being involved in the truss industry we understand the importance of having a roof/truss that is compliant with The South African National Standard SANS 10 400. Here are a few things you need to think about when choosing to fireproof your trusses.
Fire Retardant Treatment Wood (FRTW)
It may seem weird but large beams of timber have properties that make them naturally fire resistant. When large beams char on the surface they protect the substrate underneath, slowing the burn. In some instances, these beams can retain up to 85 – 90% of their strength.
FRTW ensures that this charring takes place up to a predetermined depth level. So, less penetration means stronger timbers in your roof. If you want FRTW for your truss you will need to secure the wood before the Endo Truss team begins the prefabrication, as the treatment of the wood requires a specialist. Then again – we can source the specialists for you.
Fire Resistant Paint (FRP)
If you’re only reading this article midway through your truss assembly you can still make a plan to ensure that it’s fire resistant with paint. There is a wide variety of paints, with some boosting a 120-minute resistance.
There are two types of fireproof paint technologies:
Fire retardant paint: can be an undercoat or top coat paint. When the temperature rises the paint releases a flame damping gas – forming a protective layer.
Intumescent paint: almost always the undercoat. This paint expands when temperatures rise and the paint forms a foam-like chare which insulates the wood creating a protective layer.
These paints are usually used as a two coat system. We’d highly recommend getting a specialist, who we can source for you, to apply these layers of paint.
Fire Resistant Insulation
While this has nothing to do with the fabrication of the truss itself, it would be wise to lay down a layer of fire resistant fabric between your ceiling and truss. It’s lightweight and easy to install, and able to be applied with a low-pressure, hand-held spray bottle. The fire retardant chemical forms small crystals on application.
When exposed to heat, the small crystals liquefy and combat the effect of the fire. However, this is a temporary solution and is not permanent. We’d only suggest this for clients who were very paranoid about the possibilities of a fire in the home.
It’s always a good idea to bear fire resistance in mind when choosing roofing materials. Cement and corrugated iron roofing are resistant to flames, although after extended exposure they can warp and crack. Thatching needs to be installed by a third party that complies with the “Guidelines of Good Thatching Practices”. We have a number of respected thatching experts we can recommend.
If you’re still looking for more information, feel free to drop one of our sales personnel an email: https://endotruss.co.za/contact-us/