What to Look Out for When Specifying Fire Rated Decking

If you’re looking to specify balcony decking, all components of the decking used must be non-combustible. Based on the new compliance regulations of 2018, the external walls of any building over the height of 18m used as a residence needs to be built using non-combustible components. If the building fails to comply with these regulations, the value of the property is automatically declared at £0. So, to be sure that your decking uses non-combustible components, here are some things to look out for when specifying decking:

Are all the Components of the Decking Non-Combustible?

The new regulations for external walls include all balconies, decks and walls on the outside of the building. These need to be certified as non-combustible to the European Classification A2-s1, d0 or A1. Based on this, all balconies, decks and external walls need to be made of non-combustible materials such as concrete, metal, stone and ceramic. Before specifying your decking, make sure that every component being used is not only made from the above-mentioned materials but also certified to BS EN 13501, so that you are absolutely sure that your external walls are compliant.

Is the Product Environmentally Friendly?

Picking an eco-friendly product is even more relevant today. Creating a sustainable built environment has its benefits. While choosing your decking solution, check to see what kind of materials are being used to produce the products. Certain brands use recycled products, or use materials with long design life and which are easy to recycle afterwards. These can be perfect for those environmentally conscious specifiers seeking sustainable options. 

Is the Decking Easy to Install?

The decking you choose must be easy to install without having to compromise on safety. This is important since the easier it is to install, the lower the time on-site. This is even more relevant in the post-pandemic construction world. 

Is the Decking Strong and Durable?

It is essential to find a product that is strong and durable, so it does not need to be replaced every few years. Do your research and pick quality products that are known to be durable. They might cost a bit more but will save you a lot of time and effort in the long run. Be sure to check the manufacturer's warranty before specifying the product

Are all the Components of the Decking Corrosion Resistant?

Corrosion can affect product life. Especially in places like England where it rains often, it can be a big problem. Be sure to pick decking that is corrosion resistant. Products making use of Aluminum may be the right choice as it offers corrosion resistance.

What to look out for in the Fire Certification?

It is crucial that the entire product has a fire certificate and not just the coating or surface finish. Any additional finishes or features added to a product may also require certification to ensure that the fire performance is not compromised. 

What about Load Testing?

When looking at deflection, load and span, all three must be looked at simultaneously. A change in one aspect will affect others. It is crucial that the manufacturer states all three aspects of the test to achieve a meaningful result.  

-Load

-Span

-Deflection 

All these factors mentioned above contribute towards a fire-safe and non-combustible decking solution. Checking each of these before specifying your decking can be useful in the long run as it will save you time, money and effort. It is also essential to keep this in mind as having non-combustible decking is required for the building to be in compliance with current fire safety regulations.