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Understanding Flame Retardant Requirements

UNDERSTANDING LPS 1207 CERTIFICATION AND THE IMPORTANCE OF THE JOINT CODE OF PRACTICE

Each year, hundreds of fires on construction sites and building refurbishment projects cause a huge amount of damage and endanger lives. They can be avoided.

Construction fires can quickly take hold and easily spread throughout the entire site. They can destroy completed work, ruin historic buildings, delay projects indefinitely, injure workers, or even kill. But flame retardant materials can help prevent this.

In order to help avoid fire disasters, legislation was established to ensure construction and building sites could be as safe as possible, taking all the necessary steps to mitigate against the risk of fire. This legislation is known as Fire Prevention On Construction Sites: The Joint Code Of Practice (9th Edition).

It includes the specification that protective covering materials should be flame retardant, and should comply with the rules laid out in The Joint Code of Practice. You’ll find further details on the code below, and information on why flame retardant materials should conform to LPS 1207 standards.

 


Why was the Joint Code Of Practice established?

After two significant fires on construction sites in 1992 - with a combined loss of over £150 million – insurers began to question whether it was economically viable to continue to supply insurance cover for construction projects.

Gathering together key players in the construction industry and working closely with the Chief Fire Officers' Association, London Fire Brigade and the Association of British Insurers (ABI), the Fire Protection Association published this best practice guide, now its 9th edition, to minimise the risk of fire on construction sites.

It has ensured insurance cover can continue, and led to significant improvements in the management of fire risks and safety on construction and refurbishment projects.

 


What is the objective of the Code?

Simply put, it’s to prevent fires on construction sites, by legislating against bad practice, safety infractions and the use of safe, compliant materials.

It is used by insurance companies to ensure they can effectively cover construction projects, with the knowledge that contractors have done everything possible to mitigate the risks of fire.

This is done by promoting safe working practice, and encouraging adequate detection and prevention measures are put into every stage of a project.

 


Who does the Joint Code Of Practice apply too?

The current scope of the code widely applies to building and construction projects of all types with an original contract value of £2.5m or higher. If smaller value contracts contribute to a larger project with a total value of £20m or higher, the Code applies to each of these as well.

It covers all activities during the procurement, construction and design process until the structure is completed. It should be followed in accordance with all other current legislation as well, including HS(G) 168:g Fire safety in construction work.

All parties in the supply chain must adhere to the code, including those specifying, designing and contracted to work on-site.

It’s always best to check with your insurance provider to see if the Code applies to your project, as thresholds may be reduced for high fire risk sites.

Remember, the Code also serves as best practice – so even if it doesn’t formally apply it’s always best to follow to reduce the risk of fire.

 


How the Code applies to Protective Covering Materials

The following is an extract from Fire Prevention on Construction Sites Joint Code of Practice 9th edition, which clearly details how temporary protective materials must have LPS 1207 or LPS 1215 Certification in order to comply with the Code.

"Where flexible protective covering materials are used, these must conform to the requirements of the LPCB's Loss Prevention Standard LPS 1207: Fire requirements for protective covering materials (ref. 13) or equivalent standard (for example, ref. 14). The materials shall be manufactured in accordance with a quality assurance and certification programme, and the manufacturer shall be certified by a third-party approval body accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service. The relevant approval mark shall be printed on the material."

"When flexible materials are used to clad scaffolding, these materials must conform to the requirements of LPS 1215: Flammability requirements and tests for LPCB approval of scaffolding materials (ref. 15) or equivalent standard (for example, ref. 16). The material shall be manufactured in accordance with a quality assurance and certification programme, and the manufacturer shall be certified by a third-party approval body accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service. The relevant approval mark shall be printed on the material."

NOTE: The company who is responsible for the insurance of the project is also responsible for compliance with the code, even if a subcontractor is providing the temporary covering materials.

 


What is LPS 1207 certification, and is it important?

Any product which is flame retardant and meets with the Loss Prevention Certification Board’s (LPCB) standards is given LPS 1207 certification.

If your construction project needs to be compliant with The Joint Code of Practice, all the temporary protection materials, and anything else you use on-site, needs to have LPS 1207 certification, or your insurance may be void.

 


How do I know if the temporary covering materials comply with the Joint Code of Practice?

Materials that meet flame retardant criteria must be printed with the relevant approval mark together with the manufacturer's certificate number as illustrated in the examples below:

LPCB logo Warrington Certification
LPCB Approved to LPS 1207 Certifire Approved
Cert.No 843a/03 Cert. No CF 5088

Many of Protec's products are LPCB or Certifire approved, and you’ll easily be able to see which of our products are flame retardant and comply with the Joint Code of Practice. Some examples include:, Coverguard Heavy Duty Flooring Protector, Flame Retardant Scaffold Netting and Flame Retardant Door Jamb Protectors, or you can browse our full range of LPS 1207 certification and Certifire approved products below.

View all Protec Certificated FR products

What are the risks of not complying with the Code?

For smaller contractors, the Code serves as a best practice guide. Not following it means you are placing your project at increasing risk of fire and its subsequent damage.

If the code legally applies to those projects as detailed above and is required by your insurance company, non-compliance is likely to be a breach of your insurance coverage and possibly the construction contract. 

 

Where can I purchase Temporary Covering Materials that will help us comply with The Joint Code Of Practice?

Protec has the largest range of LPCB and Certifire approved Flame Retardant products for internal and external temporary protection.

Each of our products are clearly indicated with the relevant certification and approval mark.

 


Where can I purchase a copy of The Joint Code Of Practice?

The FPA sell the copies of the Joint Code of Practice at the FPA online shop

 


Where can I find further information on this subject?

Online documents:

Websites:

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