Depending on their composition and the usage circumstances, composite garden screens may provide a fire danger. This specifically applies to composites made from plastic and hardwood fibers. While some composite materials may have been chemically treated to be fire-resistant, others might not have received such treatment, making them more flammable. Furthermore, burning composite materials can release hazardous gases that endanger both people and animals. Any material used outdoors should have fire safety features taken into account, especially if it is close to a building or other structure. To make sure that the materials used in your garden adhere to fire safety standards, it is always essential to consult local building rules and regulations.
What regulations apply to Garden Screening?
Garden screens and other outdoor constructions must adhere to several rules and building norms in the UK, depending on their use and location. Building regulations may apply to garden screens if they are placed close to a building or property line.
Technical requirements for construction projects are outlined in the UK's Building Regulations. In particular, the garden screens must adhere to the fire safety requirements outlined in Building Regulation Part B if they are over 1 meter tall and less than 2 meters from a border. As a result, garden screens placed in such locations would have to be made of materials that are fire-resistant, like Class A or Class B fire-rated materials.
Can Aluminium be used in the part B Scenario?
It is true that aluminum is a fire-resistant material that can be utilized to satisfy Building Regulation Part B's fire safety criteria in the UK. In fact, due to its great fire resistance, aluminum is frequently utilized in construction. When exposed to fire, aluminum's surface develops a thin oxide coating that shields the underlying metal and aids in containing the flames. Aluminium is a safe material to use in fire-prone regions due to its non-combustibility and lack of harmful gases when exposed to fire.
Are there any examples?
Here are a few real-world fire examples and how fireproof materials have helped to stop or reduce damage in each case:
2017 Grenfell Tower Fire The Grenfell Tower disaster in the UK 2017 claimed 72 lives and was blamed on the speed with which the fire advanced through the structure's cladding system. The building's cladding, which was not fire-resistant, allowed the fire to spread throughout it rather quickly. Due to this sad incident, there is now more scrutiny and regulation surrounding fire safety in construction, including the usage of materials such as aluminum composite panels that are fire resistant.
Thomas Cook Hotel Fire (2018): In 2018, a fire broke out at a hotel that Thomas Cook, a travel agency, was using in Corfu, Greece. The hotel had aluminum fire-resistant screens installed, which helped to contain the fire's growth and keep it from spreading to other areas of the structure. There were no fatalities reported, and it was said that the usage of fire-resistant materials helped to avert more significant damage.
The construction company Keltbray conducted a fire test in the UK in 2021 to compare the effectiveness of aluminum- and composite-based fire-resistant metal screens. The test showed that whereas the composite screens easily caught fire and allowed the flames to spread, the aluminum screens were able to endure high temperatures and did not spread the fire. This test emphasizes the superior performance of aluminum in preventing or minimizing fire damage and underscores the need to employ fire-resistant materials in construction.
The importance of using fire-resistant materials, such as aluminum, in construction and other applications where fire safety is an issue is demonstrated by these instances overall. The risk of fire and the ensuing damage can be greatly decreased by selecting fire-resistant materials.
When compared to composite garden screens, aluminum metal garden screens are renowned for their lifespan and compliance with building regulation part B. Here are a few causes for this:
Weather and corrosion resistance: Aluminum is a material that is excellent for outdoor use since it has a high level of weather and corrosion resistance. It is not impacted by UV rays or other environmental variables that can cause composite materials to decay, nor does it rust or degrade with time.
Strength and stability: Aluminum is a material that can survive severe winds and other environmental stressors. It is also stable and robust. When compared to composite materials, it is less prone to warp or distort over time.
Low upkeep: Compared to composite materials, aluminum garden screens require relatively little maintenance. They can be readily cleaned with water and mild soap and don't require painting or staining.
Aluminum garden screens' strength and lifespan might result in long-term cost savings and less upkeep. Although aluminum may initially cost more than composite materials, over time, it may prove to be more cost-effective due to its longer lifespan. Additionally, because aluminum requires little maintenance, maintenance, and repair expenses are less expensive over time. Overall, aluminum is a wise choice for outdoor applications where long-term performance and cost savings are significant factors due to its strength and lifespan.