When designing a high traffic commercial space like a restaurant or a hospital, the safety of those congregating and passing through it should be of the utmost importance. While fire safety doesn’t come to mind right away when choosing a commercial wallcovering, it actually plays a huge part in the safety of the building and the guests inside during this kind of emergency.
Here are a few product certifications and ratings to consider when choosing a commercial wallpaper for your space:
Commercial Wallcovering Fire Ratings
Although all wallcoverings definitely burn, different ratings are applied to decipher a wallcovering’s ability to reduce the spread of smoke and fire. Much like other types of building materials, wallcoverings are classified on a rating scale from A through C; “Class A” being the pinnacle of quality and safety.
Commercial Wallcovering Testing
In order to receive a “Class A” rating by the Public Health and Safety Organization (NSF), all wallcoverings must undergo extensive testing. While there are many different forms of testing, a tester will generally will apply a controlled gas flame to a segment of wallcovering and judge it’s degradation by a number of aspects including:
● The degree at which the fire grows
● The amount of heat the material releases
● How much carbon monoxide and other combustible gases the material emits
Commercial Wallcovering Certification
After compiling all of the data from the testing, the wallcovering is then given an FSR or a “Flame Spread Rate” number. “Class A” wallcoverings have an FSR of 0 to 25 deeming the wallcovering to be the most successful at combating the spread of flames.
Creating a Safe Space
A thicker Type II wallcovering is always going to be the most ideal candidate for high traffic areas for many reasons besides fire safety including resistance to water, scrubablility, durability and noise dampening. When it comes to fire safety however, the thickness and vinyl materials associated with producing Type II wallcovering come second to none when it comes to reducing the speed at which a fire spreads, allowing more time to bring people to safety. Look for Class A Type II commercial wallcoverings from brands like Koroseal and Versa for a great selection of stylish and safe designs.