In recent times across Australia, there has been a string of serious fires on high profile building sites whereby netting fixed to multi-storey scaffolding has ignited, resulting in the deployment of emergency services and the evacuation of personnel from the work site and surrounds. At Commercial Netmakers, we are one of the leading netting suppliers in Australia and recently we have been asked if our netting is fire retardant and if it meets the Australian standards for fire retardant building materials. Here’s our guide to fire resistant shade cloth netting and why it is so important in the building sector.
Fires Involving Shade Cloth Netting
Recently, a fire at a Sydney CBD building site became a serious incident when the containment netting caught alight and spread quickly. The netting involved in the incident was manufactured from polyurethane (PU) and fibreglass, and it did not have a fire retardant substance built in. According to Safe Work Australia, this was the third incident in a series of scaffolding shade cloth fires during a twelve-month period. Consequently, with construction sites often strewn with highly combustible materials such as wood, gas bottles and solvents, Safe Work Australia has now alerted users to the fire hazards associated with containment netting, and has advised the measures that should be implemented to control the associated risks.
What Does That All Mean?
Suppliers of containment netting now have specific duties under Work Health and Safety legislation, this means a safety net supplier must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, containment netting is supplied without risks to the health and safety to persons who work with the netting, or persons whose health and safety may be affected by the use of the containment netting.
It also means, the risks associated with fire hazards and netting must be managed, so far as is reasonably practicable, by ensuring the containment netting used on site is manufactured from material of low fire hazard properties, or includes measures incorporated in its manufacture to control the risks associated with fire. Note: containment netting made from polyurethane (PU) or polyethylene (PE) should include fire retardant substances.
Fire Retardant Netting in the Building Sector
With increased emphasis on Health and Safety in the construction industry, fire resistance in building materials and construction components is of utmost importance. The impact of fire at a construction site can be significantly reduced with the use of fire retardant materials including fire retardant mesh which inhibits the spread of flames and will self-extinguish when the flame source is removed. Manufactured to the highest quality, Commercial Netmakers fire retardant debris netting is a unique design based on a shade cloth construction with reinforced ridges for extra stability. Used to prevent falling objects and provide safety for workers and pedestrians, our netting has been extensively tested against similar products and has shown to be highly resistant to heat, flame and ultra-light.
Applications for Fire Retardant Debris Netting
While fire retardant netting is widely used in construction sites and scaffolding structures as a fall prevention system, fire retardant shade cloth netting can also be used as:
- Debris Netting
- Anti-Bird Netting
- Hail Protection Netting
- Fence Barrier Netting
- Sporting Perimeter Fence Netting
- Garden Netting
At Commercial Netmakers, our fire resistant shade cloth netting is designed to comply with Australian flammability testing procedures. Ideal for scaffolding and building sites where debris netting with fire resistant properties is required, if you are looking for high quality netting contact us today on (08) 9434 6000.