Pressure treating can be used to protect wood against the impacts of fire, with retardants integrated into the wood. Fire-retardant-treated lumber and plywood has become increasingly popular as an alternative to non-combustable materials in specific, code-approved applications.
Through the Fire Retardant Subcommittee, WWPI conducts activities designed to protect and enhance markets for fire-retardant-treated wood and plywood used in commercial, industrial, multifamily and residential applications.
WWPI works to educate users about fire-retardant-treated wood products while developing and reinforcing positive views of the use of these wood products in construction. The Institute also monitors building codes and standards to protect the competitive position of fire-retardant-treated wood products. This work includes advocating for fair and equal standards in assessing and defining the performance of pressure-treated fire retardant wood vs. alternative methods of fire protection.
Institute activities for Fire Retardant wood products include:
- Codes and standards – Given the importance of safeguarding the public during a fire event, WWPI works to assure competing products meet the same high standards of performance that are defined for fire-retardant-treated wood products. This includes monitoring code and standard proposals that create unequal requirements for alternative protections for wood, such as coatings whihc do not pentrate the wood. Staff coordinates with member fire retardant manufacturers and others in the wood industry to assure fire retardant wood products are not unfairly discriminated against in policies, regulations and building practices.
- Publications, digital media – WWPI offers an extensive library of technical and product information to support the use of fire retardant wood. The website FireResistantWood.org features an entensive overview of fire retardant wood products, the fire retardants used and the code requirements for using these products in construction. The online Technical Library is the home for publications and digital tools supporting the use of fire retardant wood in a variety of applications.
- Education – Proper specification and use are critical for continued acceptance of fire retardant wood products in construction. WWPI provides a variety of educational tools, including online courses, live presentations and publications directed at architects, designers and specifiers. The Institute also participates in trade shows and events for specifiers, contractors and regulators whose decisions impact the use of fire retardant wood products.
Staff contact: Butch Bernhardt