Delhi Government has directed to all hotels to use and replace furniture and door with fire rated panels and subsequently get certification from Fire Service department. The government ordered this after a massive fire broke out recently in a Hotel at Karolbagh, Delhi that led to death of 17 people. Government authority along with Fire Department officials found in an investigation that if the hotels use fire rated materials for making furniture, doors, flooring and carpeting, then they can save the life from such accident.
In a direction issued to the principal secretary of Delhi government’s home department and the director of Delhi Fire Services (DFS) said the owners would have to install carbon monoxide detectors and alarms, make arrangements for smoke ventilation in passages and provide a fire door at the entrance of a staircase. Both officers have been told to take
immediate action. Delhi Fire Services has also been directed to draft a proposal suggesting changes to the building bylaws, which will be amended by the urban development department.
It is noted that the government directive will boost the sale of fire rated plywood, doors, Aluminum composite panel, MDF, Flooring along with other panel products. This step will enhance the use of value added plywood and panel products, and will motivate the producers to manufacture such standard products. It is also noted that a dozen of Indian plywood and panel products manufacturing companies having infrastructure and technology to produce such fire rated panel products.
Fire Retardant plywood/doors are a type of panel products which is treated with special fire retardant chemicals at the time of manufacture, so that it becomes better at resisting fires. It is also known as FR grade plywood/doors. It is commonly used in public places, where the risk of fire has to be reduced such as for making the woodwork in the kitchens of large restaurants, or for the interior woodwork done in public theatres and halls, and the wood used in the railway compartments of trains. It can also be used in homes and offices, for car interiors, and any other such places where the risk and spread of fire has to be reduced.
The Indian quality standards for manufacture of FR grade fire resistant plywood are specified in document IS:5509. The rate of burning plywood should be more than 20 minutes, the time taken for flames to penetrate the plywood has to be more than 30 minutes. Chemicals such as diammonium hydrogen phosphate etc are used to make fire retardant plywood. The addition of fireproofing chemicals give the plywood better fire proofing qualities such as, lesser tendency of spark and ignite, Slow burning, having a decreased tendency of the fire to spread over the surface of the plywood, low flammability and lesser smoke generation and higher flame penetration time.