Fire retardant plastic sheeting is a specialty product engineered with advanced technology to slow the spread of a fire, whereas regular poly sheeting or Visqueen burns fast when exposed to fire.
For a resin-based material like plastic sheeting to be considered fire retardant, it is tested in a controlled environment to ensure it meets the minimum fire safety standards, then certifying organizations give the plastic sheeting a fire rating, and even though fire-resistant plastic sheeting does not exist, there are acceptable fire ratings considered safer than others in the event of a fire.
Read more about the difference between fire retardant and fire resistant here.
Fire safety is more important now than ever; between the years of 2016 and 2020, construction fires caused an average of five civilian deaths, 62 civilian injuries, and $376 million in direct property damage annually. Fire retardant plastic sheeting has become essential for fire safety in a range of different applications and environments.
What are the different fire ratings for plastic sheeting?
When it comes to fire safety standards, there are several different organizations, recognized nationally and in some cases globally, that set the bar for whether or not a material is considered safe enough to use in some of the above-mentioned applications. Plastic sheeting is tested in accordance with these standards and given a rating that indicates if it’s compliant.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) “creates and maintains private, copyrighted, standards and codes for usage and adoption by local governments”. These standard codes are annually compiled and adopted by local jurisdictions. NFPA 701 is the most standard method of fire tests for flame propagation of textiles and films and has two test methods based on fabric density.
Created by UL Standards, These requirements apply to the performance in flame-exposure tests of flame-resistant fabrics of natural, synthetic, or combinations of natural and synthetic fibers; or films intended for such use as tents, awnings, draperies, or decorations. The flame resistance of the fabric or film may be inherent in the material used or maybe the result of chemical treatment to retard ignition and spread of flame.
The American Society for Testing Materials, or ASTM, also has created a set of standardized tests to determine a product’s flammability. This standard tests the surface flame spread and the amount of smoke developed or emitted from the material when exposed to a flame source.
This standard testing method is used specifically for confirming the flame resistance of fabric used in manufacturing camping tents. This is a nonvoluntary test set by the Industrial Fabrics Association International used to determine the risk of flammability in these recreational materials.
California Title 19
Created by the Office of the State Fire Marshall Code of Development and Analysis Program, California Title 19 is a code of regulations used to establish a minimum standard for the prevention of fire and the protection against fire, explosion, and panic. Although this is a state-level requirement, all State Fire Marshals do adhere to a similar standard.
Common Applications of Fire Retardant Plastic Sheeting
The requirement for a fire-rated material can be expected anywhere a fire could affect public safety. The most common places include construction sites, but safety compliance is often required for temporary structures, in ESD-sensitive environments, on movie production sites, and even exhibits in public buildings. Applications that fire retardant plastic sheeting is often used in:
- Temporary walls, plant dividers, building enclosures and containment tents
- Shipping container covers and liners
- Floor covers, dust partitions and cleanroom enclosures
- Bags and tubing
- Industrial packaging
- Custom covers and outside storage
- Architectural vapor retarder in walls, ceilings and in roofing systems
- Fumigation covers
- Abatement Containments
- Jobsite coverings
- Cargo covers
- Covering sensitive shipments
- Temporary privacy curtains
- Equipment protection
- Haunted house attractions
Top-Selling Fire Retardant Plastic Sheeting
Using the proper plastic sheeting is important in meeting safety regulations and reducing collateral damage in the event that a fire breaks out. For decades, Americover’s clients have trusted our fire retardant plastic sheeting and we continue to provide innovative solutions to meet our customer’s specific needs. Here are our top-selling fire retardant plastic sheeting products.
Anti-Static Fire Retardant Plastic Sheeting
Our 6 mil polyethylene film (ASFR6) is designed to prevent the buildup of static electricity. It conforms to NFPA 701 and U L214 and is clearly marked as such. ASFR6 is the ideal plastic sheeting to use anywhere you want to protect electrical equipment or create an antistatic dust barrier.
Fire Retardant Dura Skrim® Reinforced Plastic Sheeting
Dura Skrim®’s 6 mil fire retardant plastic sheeting is highly puncture-resistant and manufactured with a reinforced layer of polyester scrim to protect from tearing. This material is ideal for flammable areas and meets building codes where flame retardant materials are needed.
Fire Retardant Tuff Scrim™ Reinforced Poly Sheeting
Tuff-Scrim™’s fire retardant plastic sheeting comes in 6 mil, 8mil, and 14 mil options. Designed with a high-strength cord between LLDPE layers, this sheeting provided optimal tear resistance in a lightweight material. It also passes NFPA 701 test 1 and ASTM E-84 fire retardant standards.
TempShield® Double Bubble Reflective Insulation
This reflective insulator is lightweight and easy to install. It is best used against radiant heat transfer and can be used where radiation is the predominant means of heat transfer. This insulation film is fire retardant with a class A/class 1 fire rating.
We also offer a variety of fire retardant tapes to seam panels of plastic sheeting together or seal it to another surface.
Trusted by Growers, Builders, and Distributors
Americover is the smart source for plastic and polyethylene sheeting. Trusted by contractors and distributors across the construction and agriculture industries, our American-made products combine reliability with quality and innovation.
As an Americover customer, you will receive the personalized support of a dedicated account manager to simplify the ordering process and ensure the best solution for every one of your projects. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff is here to answer your questions and fulfill orders Monday-Friday from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. If you would like to speak with a representative, call us at 760-388-6294 or contact us.