City centre blaze demonstrates value of flame-retardant sheeting

Last weekend a major fire at a construction site in Leeds city centre provided a clear demonstration of the value of using scaffold sheeting which is independently-certified to meet flame retardancy standards.

Witnesses reported ‘loud bangs’ as flames spread within the upper floors of a heavily scaffolded building. Extensively installed to support redevelopment work on site, ITP’s Powerclad Premium FR printed sheeting and Powerclad Standard FR unprinted sheeting are independently tested to achieve fire retardancy certification to all relevant standards including BS 7955, TS 62 for external use, TS 63 for internal use and Euroclass B-s1,d0 EN 13501-1. Those performance qualities proved to be extremely valuable as the blaze developed. The intense fire eventually began to burn part of the scaffold sheeting, but its self-extinguishing qualities prevented flames from spreading across the rest of the sheeting. All but a small section of the sheeting has remained intact.

ITP Account Manager, David Gilmore, said:

“The outbreak happened on Saturday night and its cause is still unknown, but the police are investigating the possibility of arson. The West Yorkshire Fire Service did a brilliant job in tackling the fire. The incident demonstrates that scaffold sheeting has an important safety function not only during construction activity, but also outside of working hours, particularly in busy urban locations like this one. In this case, having a flame-retardant system like Powerclad prevented an even more severe fire.

“ITP always advise our scaffold clients to use flame retardant sheeting. It is vital to ensure that the sheeting is independently certified to meet fire retardancy standards which relate to the specific application, whether it’s internal or external use and printed or unprinted sheeting. That is the only way to be sure that you are maximising safety standards and providing a solution that can help to reduce the impact of a fire outbreak.”

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