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What Is Fire-Retardant Lumber?

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  • Written By: Esther Ejim
  • Edited By: Kaci Lane Hindman
  • Last Modified Date: 24 November 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Fire-retardant lumber is a term used to describe the different categories of treated wood that are utilized for various construction purposes. The need for the use of fire-retardant lumber in construction is one of necessity and safety that is borne out of a desire to reduce the incidence of loss of property and lives to fires in buildings. Considering the fact that wood, by its very nature, is extremely prone or vulnerable to fires as a result of its high combustion rate, it makes sense that the wood used in the constructing of homes and other buildings should be some form of fire-retardant lumber. The fire-retardant lumber is usually treated with fire-retardant chemicals as a means of repressing the easy spread of flames in the event of a fire in any building in which it is utilized.

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In order to create fire-retardant lumber, the wood in question will be treated with specified fire-retardant chemicals, the exact choice of which will be determined by the company that is manufacturing the wood. One of the limiting factors of fire-retardant lumber is the fact that it cannot be utilized arbitrarily since the process of treating the wood and using it in the construction of homes must go through an approval system by the regulatory authority in the area. The reason for this is drawn from the chemical composition of the fire-retardant chemicals used in treating the wood, which might have some adverse effects on the health of human beings when the fumes are inhaled or through other exposure.

Also, the companies that manufacture fire retardants that are used in the treatment of lumber often guard their specific formulations very well due to the consideration that such formulations constitute a part of the trade secret of the originating company, especially where the treatment is particularly effective in its function of retarding the spread of fire. The efficacy of fire-retardant lumber is dependent on the manner in which the treatment works to significantly alter how wood burns by reducing its ability to catch fire or to combust easily. Another consideration when choosing fire-retardant lumber is the fact that some of them may be used indoors while others can only be used for outdoor construction purposes. The reason for this classification is due to the fact that some of the treatments used on this lumber are more rugged and can withstand the effects of the outdoor conditions more than others.

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