wood species

Benefits of Using Fire-Retardant Treated Wood


Wood has been the main construction material of choice for thousands of years. Sturdy, visually appealing and readily available, it’s no wonder architects and builders love to craft sensational structures with wood.


However as we all know wood is a very flammable material. This is especially problematic with drier and hotter summers causing more severe wildfires throughout much of Western Canada and the United States in recent years. For those with safety as a primary concern, treated wood increases fire protection for residential and commercial builds without sacrificing the natural beauty and resilience of the material.


Builders and homeowners looking to use Fire Retardant Treated Wood (FRTW) in their next project can fulfill their needs with us here at Longhouse Specialty Forest Products on Vancouver Island. We work with coastal and interior softwoods and specialize in providing the highest quality Western Red Cedar products.


There are numerous advantages to building with treated lumber. Here are 5 key benefits to keep in mind if you are considering using treated wood in your next project:


1. The FRTW solution, when properly applied to lumber, greatly reduces the impact of fires. With the increase in forest fires and changing climate, fire has become a serious threat to homes and businesses throughout BC. The chemicals in the solution reduce smoke impact and decrease flame spread. This gives fire fighters a head-start in mitigating fire damage. And when compared to a steel structure, treated wood in a building upholds its structural integrity at a higher heat. Customers have the convenience of purchasing all types of fire-retardant treated lumber directly from our facility with the confidence the lumber is up to Canadian building codes and requirements.


2. Pressure treating wood with a fire-retardant solution allows for increased design flexibility. For instance, in the presence of a potential fire hazard, the use of FRTW addresses specific fire safety characteristics of the National Building Code. Whereas installing sprinklers would be a challenge when building an addition, the use of FRTW in a new roof system may eliminate the need for a costly sprinkler system.


3. Building with Fire Retardant Treated Wood can save everyone money. No one would argue the fact that insurance costs are high. When it comes to purchasing homeowner insurance, you may reduce costs if your home is built with FRTW. Fire safety is also essential in commercial buildings. Fire resistant wood helps slow the advance of fire. With fire resistant wood, you minimize liability and maximize safety.


4. Fire treated lumber offers superior design flexibility in construction projects. FRTW can be used for exterior walls and trim, framing and support construction, hallways and corridors, roofing systems, interior partitions, and several other building applications. In this way, structural designs offer excellent fire resistance while maintaining the same strength as untreated materials.


5. The fire-retardant treatment is environmentally safe. The chemical solution is non-toxic, water-based, and has been shown to not be noticeably more corrosive than untreated wood. Furthermore, the solution typically does not impede the adhesion of surface coatings or paint. Committed to the green initiative, Longhouse has maintained our FSC (Forest Stewardship Council)® certification by the Rainforest Alliance since 2007.


untreated vs treated wood fire resistance
A test comparing the fire resistance of untreated wood on the left and fire retardant treated wood in the centre and on the right.


As you can see, there are multiple benefits to using Fire Retardant Treated Wood for any type of build.


We have an excellent range of fire-retardant treated lumber and we ship anywhere worldwide. Keep safe and build well!


If you’re interested in the benefits of FRTW for your next building project, call us toll-free at 1-800-811-2010 or email us at info@longhousecedar.com today!