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Bushfire Resistance


As the environment changes, the ferocity of bushfires has noticeably increased, leaving many families devastated. Take control and protect your home with UPVC double glazed windows and doors, which are non-combustible and self-extinguishing. UPVC double glazed windows and doors are an excellent alternative to wood for those in bushfire-prone areas. One of the few homes to survive the Marysville bushfire in Victoria featured UPVC windows, and PVC was extensively used throughout the home.

Our UPVC windows and doors are difficult to ignite with common sources such as matches and lighters. Tests on our products have shown that UPVC burns only while the fire source is applied, with no residual flame once the source is removed. UPVC is relatively hard to ignite at 390 degrees compared to pinewood at 260 degrees. The associated hazard of ignited UPVC can be measured by the Limiting Oxygen Index (LOI) test.

The LOI test measures the concentration of oxygen in an oxygen/nitrogen mixture necessary for sustained combustion. According to independent testing (Hilado, CJ Flammability Handbook of Plastics, 1990), UPVC has an LOI of 45-50, compared to wood's 21-22. Materials with an LOI of 21 and above should not burn in air at room temperature, where air contains 21% oxygen. An LOI result of 45-50 indicates that UPVC burns only in conditions of very high heat.

When UPVC burns, it produces smoke, similar to most natural and synthetic materials. Contrary to popular myths, independent scientific studies have concluded that UPVC fire gases are not significantly more toxic than those from other building materials (Horrocks AR, Price D "Fire Retardant Materials" 2001). In terms of heat release, PVC has a higher heat of combustion than wood or paper, but a lower rate of release than most organic materials, meaning burning UPVC is unlikely to ignite nearby objects and spread the flame. The UPVC formulation for the window profile inhibits flame spread through carbonaceous char development when burning, instead of dripping.

Smoke is a crucial consideration because it can be lethal and obstruct escape routes. Smoke results from incomplete combustion. Under non-flaming conditions, UPVC produces the same smoke densities as wood. UPVC can produce more smoke under flaming conditions, but the rate of smoke per unit time is lower than most organic materials because of PVC's low heat release during burning. This means using PVC in a home may allow more time to escape without being hindered by smoke. An experiment by the US National Bureau of Standards found UPVC had a maximum specific optical density score of 400 under non-flaming conditions, while pine scored 551 and oak 581.

Today, PVC is used in many safety applications requiring fire retardancy, such as cable ducting. No safety feature replaces common sense, so we urge customers to remain aware and alert to potential dangers. Our UPVC is formulated for excellent technical performance and high resistance to ignition and flame spread, providing a comfortable and safer living environment. All products are manufactured in Sydney, ensuring top quality and standards.