Flame Resistant, Fire Resistant, Fire-Resistance Rating and Fire Retardant: What’s the Difference?

The terms flame resistant, fire resistant and fire retardant are commonly referred to as “FR” and they get used interchangeably. These terms are often thought of as synonyms, but it’s important to know the difference especially when selecting passive fire protective coatings and sprays. We’re proud to be a trusted leader in passive fire protective coatings. We offer not only high-performing, code-compliant fire protection, but also wish to educate you. Learn more about the difference between: flame resistant, fire resistant, fire-resistance rating and fire retardant.

Flame Resistant, Fire Resistant or Fire-Resistance Rating

The words “flame” and “fire” can be used interchangeably. The difference really comes in to play when we examine the terms “resistant” and “retardant.”  Fire resistance or fire-resistance rating is most commonly known by the International Building Code’s definition which includes, a component or assembly maintains the ability to contain a fire, continues to perform a given structural function, or both, as determined by the tests or the methods based on tests. Fire resistant coatings or paints are always tested to and installed to comply with performance specifications which, under use conditions, demonstrate and enhance the material’s flame or fire resistance, fire-resistance rating and in some cases, additionally, fire retardant and flame spread or surface-burning characteristics for interior finish specifications. No-Burn’s intumescent coatings or paints (No-Burn Plus, No-Burn Plus XD and No-Burn Plus ThB) fall into the fire-resistant category.

Fire Retardant

Fire retardant coatings and sprays differ from fire resistant or fire-resistance rated coatings or paints in that they make combustible materials difficult to ignite or retard fire, ultimately slowing the rate at which the flame spreads. Compared to the rate of a flame spreading on an untreated combustible surface, the comparison is significant. Fire retardant coatings are designed to enhance a combustible material’s interior finish, fire classification, flame spread or surface-burning characteristics. No-Burn’s fire retardant coatings include No-Burn Original and No-Burn Christmas Tree Fire Gard.

Why Choose No-Burn Products?

When it comes to making sure your construction projects are code compliant for fire protection, it’s important to be informed about the products available to you. As an industry leader, No-Burn meets all the standards for fire protection. Our team can help you choose the appropriate product and match you with a contractor who is qualified to do such an installation. Interested in learning more? Request a quote, today. Ready to shop for products? Browse our intumescent coatings and fire retardant coatings.