How do fire-retardant and non-fire-retardant bitumen felts react differently to fire?

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Nigel Payne - Flat Roof Specialist

If you’ve ever purchased non-fire-retardant roofing felt instead of the fire-retardant equivalent to save money, then this video is for you.  There is a place in the market for non-fire-retardant products where the fire risk is very low but more often than not fire-retardant products are a must.

How much longer does non-fire-retardant bitumen felt burn?

As the video above shows, after being subjected to a fierce flame for 20 seconds the non-fire-retardant product continues burning for almost 3 times the duration of the fire-retardant product.  Understandably the longer the flame is burning the more chance of it spreading.


How resistant to fire penetration is fire-retardant bitumen felt?

The photo below clearly shows where the fire-retardant product comes into its own, stopping any penetration, unlike non-fire-retardant products which will break down much quicker meaning the fire can then attack the next layer of the roof build-up.

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Does fire-retardant bitumen felt have to be used to achieve Broof(t4)?

Whilst the rating of the individual products is not critical to the system achieving a Broof(t4) rating, according to the European standard BS EN 13501-5:2016 test, it is always advisable to use a fire retardant capsheet where possible to lessen the risk of fire spread to other higher fire risk areas.


What fire-retardant products does Bailey supply?

Bailey has a number of fire-retardant products including our Classic Plus FR, System 5000 FR and System 17000 FR which have been tested and achieve a rating of at least Broof(t4) when tested as a system to TS 1187 Test 4 in accordance with European standard BS EN 13501-5:2016.


If you want to find out more about our fire-retardant products contact us today and our helpful staff will be delighted to assist you in your enquiry.