We often receive questions from our customers about the fire safety of Artificial Grass.
Fires can happen anywhere whether it is outside in your garden or inside your home. It is therefore important to take the necessary precautions to minimise the likelihood of a fire starting and spreading.
When you consider purchasing Artificial Grass it is important to consider the right turf prior to installation that will not contribute to fuelling a potential fire.
The last thing you want is for a fire to start and spread through your Artificial Grass.
There is no need to worry though as the majority of Artificial Grass is safe to use in your garden because they are fire resistant.
Our article below will explain to you what to consider when purchasing Artificial Grass and should answer any questions you may have about the fire safety once you have installed Artificial Grass in your garden.
How to identify whether Artificial Grass is fire resistant?
Many sellers of Artificial Grass claim that their Artificial Grass is fire resistant but the only way to really know is to check for their independent testing certificates.
The European Union have a set of safety standard requirements that need to be met for fire safety, household items such as Artificial Grass are assessed for their reaction to fire and are put under a series of fire simulation tests.
The European standard for the fire safety of indoor flooring is UNE EN 13501-1.
This standard is specifically for indoor flooring as the risk of a fire is far greater indoors than it is outdoors.
The observations from the simulations enables the tester to determine what classification Artificial Grass should fall under. We have included this classification below:
What Rating is required for Artificial Grass?
For an outdoor application, a class Efl is likely to be sufficient.
Some commercial applications, such as at a restaurant, may have to reach a higher classification.
All of Papa Turf's Artificial Grass products meet the minimum Efl requirement. It is advised when checking out to check the fire safety rating of our grass to ensure you meet your fire safety standard minimum requirements.
How to prevent fire damage to your Artificial Grass
After installing your Artificial Grass, like most people, you are going to want to spend as much time as you can enjoying your newly laid masterpiece. The last thing that you want is for any type of fire damage. You will be surprised with the amount of queries Papa Turf receives about previous turf lays that were singed badly or in worse cases entirely burnt. So we have outlined the do's and don't of fire safety for your Artificial Grass Garden.
The 3 main causes of fire damage for Artificial Grass are:
BBQ embers/ BBQ heat damage
On a sunny Summers evening you will want to host your friends and family to show off your pristine Artificial Grass garden. A BBQ is the most likely thing you will use to feed everyone. There is a misconception that you can use a BBQ on Artificial Grass, this is partly true if you have a BBQ that has proper fireproof/heatproof insulation on the underside and framework. However most BBQ's do not. As a result the heat from the BBQ can singe the fibres of the grass. Those that have coal BBQ's can expect the embers to spit out very hot fragments that if exposed to grass will burn a hole in your turf (usually to the size of that ember).
It is recommended that if you wish to BBQ, that you do so either 2m away from your Artificial Grass or if this is not possible sit the BBQ on top off concrete slabs that form a protective covering over your turf.
2. Cigarette butt/ Cigarette ash burns
Over the years cigarette smoking has become less frequent, for those that do not smoke, this should not be an issue. However when you host your next social gathering in your garden you may run the risk of having a social smoker or veteran smoker dropping their cigarette butts on your beautiful Artificial Grass garden. To be very clear, cigarette butts can and will cause burn holes in your turf.
To avoid this from happening to you, it is advised to keep any smoker away from your Artificial Grass. If this is not possible then please make them aware to dispose of their cigarette butts and their ash away from your turf to avoid instances of holes in your grass.
3. Chiminea/ Log burners
This unsuspected culprit is one of the biggest causes of heat damage to Artificial Grass.
When exposed to extreme heat that is not direct fire, Artificial Grass can singe.
The result is unsatisfying as it is permanent and often done over a larger area than a BBQ burn or cigarette butt burn. The heat from a Chiminea or Log Burner causes the strands of the Artificial Grass to singe to the mat. This causes a large area of misshaped grass. In most cases people have to resort to purchasing a new roll. However it is possible to repair if you have extra turf lying around leftover from when you initially laid your Artificial Grass garden.
It is advised to not place a chiminea or log burner on top of your Artificial Grass and instead burn on a surface that is not damaged by extreme heat such as a concrete patio. However if you have no other choice but to light it up on your Artificial Grass it is wise to consider a large heat mat to place the burner on top of to protect the entire area of Artificial Grass underneath. Some people use leftover concrete slabs, others use more creative methods.
Below shows the singe damage extreme heat from a burner can inflict on Artificial Grass.
What should I do if my Artificial Grass garden becomes damaged from fire or heat?
First of all, you and your family's safety is the top priority. If you see a fire near your Artificial Grass or on your Artificial Grass lawn put it out immediately with water or a fire blanket. If the fire has been caused by a electrical ignition Co2 extinguisher will suffice.
The damage from a fire or the heat from a fire can be quite extensive on your Artificial Grass garden. Often people purchase excess Artificial Grass for instances such as heat damage.
The grass can be easily replaced by cutting out the damaged area and replacing it with your excess turf. Be sure that the Artificial Grass you replace the damaged area with is facing the same direction as how you rolled out the turf. If the Artificial Grass is not laid the same way as the rest of your lawn, then the result will be a darker patch in your garden. This is because the strands of your Artificial Grass will be facing the wrong direction and will show a different shade to the rest of your turf garden.
If you do not have excess Artificial Grass leftover from your initial purchase, then it is recommended to purchase the same model Artificial Grass as you did initially, to avoid any anomalies showing in your beautifully laid turf garden. Papa Turf will endeavour to replace your turf with the correct model. We do not cover fire damage as part of our warranty so this will incur the going cost of the Artificial Grass roll. In instances when the stock has changed we will do our best to source the old model of turf for you to replace. We cannot guarantee that we will always stock the same line so please take care of your Artificial Grass lawn to avoid this from happening.
What other materials do we need to consider for fire safety with our Artificial Grass garden?
When you install your Artificial Grass garden, there are additional materials required to lay your turf. There are 4 other primary components that you will need to ensure passes the correct fire safety standards that has been mentioned above.
1. The Adhesive Glue
This component is often overlooked when assessing the fire safety of your installation. Adhesive glue can have an impact on how fast a fire can spread.
2. The Adhesive Tape
Similar to the Adhesive Glue, the Adhesive tape is used to join the grass mats together. Please be sure to check the fire safety classification of the adhesive tape before purchase. There are plenty of vendors that supply both of these goods, ensure you are purchasing the safest option prior to installation.
3. The Shock-pad Mat
The shock-pad mat is installed prior to laying your Artificial Grass. It is used as a soft layer to protect someone from a hard fall on a harder surface. Often shock-pads are laid when there is direct exposure to drainage rocks and an additional layer is required to soften the surface that the Artificial Grass will lay on. This mat is made up of various recyclable materials and is a foam like consistency. It will be important to check the certificate of your shock-pad to ensure that the material adheres to EU fire safety standards.
4. Underlying Surface (Applicable to Indoor usage)
If you are installing your Artificial Grass indoors take care in deciding what surface to lay your Artificial Grass on. Often people will install their turf by stapling the Artificial Grass to a surface such as wood. Please take care in assessing a suitable material to install your Artificial Grass on. The last thing you want is for a flammable surface to ignite below your Turf. Because although Artificial Grass is Fire Resistant it does not mean that it cannot ignite.
Artificial Grass fire safety is Papa Turf's highest priority. As such we aim to provide you with as much factual evidence for you to make an informed decision as to what the right Artificial Grass product is for you. Whether it is a Papa Turf product or another vendor that you are purchasing from.
When choosing your Artificial Grass, make sure you choose one that has been independently tested for fire safety
That way, should the worst happen, you’ll know that a fire will not spread through your Artificial Grass garden.
Many suppliers will claim that their product is fire resistant. The only way to be sure of this is to request their fire safety certificate. Often these certificates are independently certified by an accepted body such as SGS.
For all public and commercial applications, including indoor events and exhibitions, this is often a necessity in any case.
All of Papa Turf's Artificial Grass products are classified with a Efl rating, this rating is largely accepted for outdoor purpose use. Please check prior to purchase that our fire safety certifications adhere to your fire safety requirements.
Be sure to avoid heat damage and fire damage from general outdoor uses such as BBQ's, Log burners, Chiminea's, cigarettes or candles.
If you are using Artificial Grass for indoor use be sure to take care of the surface you install it against and keep flammable materials away from your grass. The risk of fire is far greater indoors than it is for outdoors. Ensuring you meet a minimum fire safety certificate for indoor usage is important and do your research before purchasing your Artificial Grass.
We hope this has been informative for our readers. If we have missed any points please feel free to share in our comments below.