Why Canadian SPF contractors need to only use
thermal barrier products that are tested under
the industry standard.
Editorial Contributions by Flame Seal Products, Inc.
BY JUAN SAGARBARRIA
If there is an exact factor that distinguishes Canada’s SPF industry, that factor is safety codes. The National Building Code of Canada (NBC), published by NRC and developed by the Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes, delineates specific
stringent codes to ensure that safety is guaranteed on every SPF job
nationwide. However, companies like Flame Seal Products specializing in
intumescent coatings for SPF fire protection, have noticed that there is
a great deal of confusion in the industry regarding a specific safety code.
The safety code in question, CAN/UL S124-6, certifies a thermal barrier
product to be installed over SPF and was established by the Canadian
government to protect life and property. Flame Seal claims that the code
isn’t optional and never has been – so Spray Foam Magazine sat down
with Flame Seal’s Dylan Nowak in hopes of obtaining a greater insight
into this ongoing problem and, further, how to control it.
(cont’d on the next page)
Spray Foam Magazine: Why would you say
safety codes are more stringent in Canada?
Dylan Nowak: The National Building
Code governs Canada. Additionally, many
provinces have their own Building Codes
but for the most part these are built upon
the National Code. Safety and fire standards
are of particular interest and there is a great
deal of research and consultation with all
levels of government and the private sector.
SFM: There seems to be a disconnect in
the Canadian market about which safety
codes are necessary and whether there are
alternative solutions to circumvent safety
requirements, why is this the case?
DN: The National Building Code is
administered by Codes Canada, a division
of the National Research Council. Codes
Canada works with local building officials,
and Industry experts to update the National
Building Code. Codes Canada also works
with groups like Under writers Laboratory to
establish testing methods for the evaluation
of products. The goal is to protect Canadians
and challenge the industry. The National
Building Code and Codes Canada provide
clear standards for building officials and
The smooth administration of the
National Building Code has recently been
disrupted through action of the Canadian
Construction Materials Centre (CCMC).
The CCMC is also a division of the
National Research Council, their mandate
is to evaluate new and innovative building
materials and issue a report. The CCMC has
recently set the industry into great confusion
through its report 14036 -R on protecting
spray foam. For this report, the CCMC used
a lower testing standard (ignition barrier)
than is found in the National Building
Code. Additionally, the CCMC does not
accept liability for the report – passing that
off to local building officials.