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Redwood Decking Outperforms
Other Materials in Flame Resistance

In a series of fire performance tests conducted on 12 commercial decking materials, California redwood ranked number one in flame resistance. The tests, recently completed by the University of California Forest Products Laboratory (UCFPL), were specifically designed to evaluate the performance of various decking materials when exposed to wildland fire hazard conditions such as those that exist throughout much of California and the western states.

For many years, redwood has been recognized for its fire resistance; in fact, redwood-clad structures were credited with limiting the extent of the great fires following the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Redwood has historically been used in firewalls and fire doors, and currently is the only decking material allowed for rooftop decks in San Francisco. These recent tests confirm redwood's superiority.

The eleven decking materials tested in addition to redwood included many new wood/plastic composites and pure plastics. Many of these degraded during the short exposure tests while the remainder degraded prior to completion of the long exposure tests. Modes of degradation included: accelerating or runaway flaming combustion, flaming drops or particles falling from the deck and collapse of a deck board with or without load.

Construction Heart 2x6, the most widely used redwood decking material in California, was the only product that exhibited none of these four degradation effects during the long exposure tests according to Professor Frank Beall, Director, UCFPL.

The results of this study could have significant implications for the development of new fire codes for urban wildland interface fire zones.

For more information view the results of the tests done by the University of California Forest Products Lab.
© 2005, California Redwood Association. All rights reserved.