The Eco-Friendly Wood-Alternative Lumber for Decks and Fencing Passes Strict Fire Tests for Use Where Wildlands Interface Urban Areas
LifeTime Lumber® (http://www.lifetimelumber.com), a revolutionary, eco-friendly deck, dock and fence material was recently approved for use in California’s rural Wildland-Urban Interface Areas (WUI). Throughout the State of California WUI areas are properties and communities, adjacent to or surrounded by wild lands and potentially subject to wildfires. All certified building products for use in such zones must pass specific performance requirements that ensure a reasonable level of exterior wildfire exposure protection for buildings and their surroundings.
“We are happy to be contributing to the most prudent effort California has made to reduce property losses of the area’s residents that result from WUI fire disasters,” said Jim Mahler, company president. “Now that we are certified as fire code compliant throughout the entire state of California, we’re looking forward to providing a much wider range of residents with products that will contribute to the aesthetics of their homes while providing peace of mind that they are better equipped to withstand wildfires.”
Containing no flammable materials such as wood, thermoplastic or PVC, LifeTime Lumber is a valuable engineered material for the building industry. Due to their complex cross-linking of bonds, LifeTime Lumber’s thermoset polymers combined with naturally fire-resistant recycled mineral filler are strong and substantially more heat-resistant than wood-plastic composites which use linear thermoplastics as a binder. Thermosets are frequently used in industrial applications where maximum strength and inflammability is required.
“We are also proud that our products meet this code naturally – without the use of fire retardants that can be detrimental to the environment,” said Nisha Vyas, vice president. “LifeTime Lumber products provide homeowners low-maintenance living through the benefits of safe, eco-friendly wood-alternative lumber.”
In order to receive WUI certification, each building material must pass extreme testing that includes an analysis of required product fire performance and aging reliability. Testing required for decking includes:
- The “under-deck flame exposure test,” simulating combustibles beneath the deck and determining the heat release rate.
- The “burning brand exposure test,” simulating flames on the upper surface, and assessing degradation modes of the deck boards.
- Testing of durability and hygroscopic properties, implying the product’s ability to withstand weathering before or after the event of a wildfire