What is the Difference Between Fire Retardant and Fire Resistant?

The terms "Flame Resistant" and "Fire Retardant" are misused far too often. While these two terms certainly do sound very similar, they are not completely interchangeable. This can become confusing to the average person. We want you to know exactly what you need and precisely the product for the job. You can trust RDR Technologies, because we're industry experts! That is why we want to make clear the differences between the two.

First, it is important to note that "flame" and "fire" actually are interchangeable. Flame and fire can be used to describe the same concept without problem. That is not where the issue lies. The confusion occurs when looking at "resistant" vs. "retardant." Unlike flame and fire, they don't describe the same thing. These terms can be misleading. It's always necessary to understand which is which because if you are required to use one, but buy the other, you could have serious consequences. You could get burned!

Resistant- This word is defined as a material that is inherently resistant to catching fire. It can also be described as self-extinguishing. This means it does not melt or drip when exposed directly to extreme heat. As a simple example, wool is generally considered the most flame-resistant natural fiber. This is because it is difficult to ignite, and flames are often extinguished in the fibers.

Retardant- On the other hand, retardant is defined as a material that has been chemically treated to self-extinguish. There are many textiles that can be “treated”. For example, imagine fabric drapes that do not melt or drip. The melting and dripping of a fabric is the greatest safety concern because the melted material can cause great damage to skin. BanFire Fire Retardant Spray for Fabric (NFPA 701 & CalFire) could be sprayed on your drapes to make that possible. That is only the beginning!

Flame retardants provide us with a new, better layer of fire protection. When added to different materials, flame retardant paints can help prevent fires from starting or at the very least limit their spread. RDR Technologies sells a wide variety of flame retardant sprays, foams, and paints.

The spray for fabric mentioned above is far from the only type of product you can order through our online catalogue. You can shop by substrate. Do you need a fire retardant for plastic, drywall, wood or steel? We've got it all! You can also shop by product type. Do you need a foam or paint? Maybe you are not sure which product you need. Contact us and ask for help! We are dedicated to being your go-to resource to buy fire retardant coatings online. Our goal is to offer best in class products for each code requirement and substrate. You can call us at 405-306-3062 or email doug@rdrtechnologies.com, whichever you prefer.

May 31st 2021 RDR Technologies

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