What are Inherently Fire Retardant (IFR) Trees?
The faux tree and plant renaissance in America began in the 1920s, when speakeasies and nightclubs began to utilize artificial materials within their elaborate design themes. They often used these to replicate tropical products like palms and flowers. From Hollywood to New York City, movie stars and mobsters alike could be found dancing to large orchestras under the arching fronds of artificial palm trees.
In 1942, the industry came to an abrupt halt when the ‘synthetic palm tree decorations’ at the Cocoanut Grove nightclub in Boston, Massachusetts caught fire, killing 492 people. During the past 70 years, researchers and historians have identified dozens of safety violations that contributed to that fire.
Industry Changes for Artificial Trees
It was a turning point in the artificial decoration industry, and manufacturers were asked to begin using non-flammable materials. By the mid-1970s, new fire safety regulations were in place. They prevent commercial properties from placing specific non-IFR decorative materials indoors.
In 1989, The Mirage Resort and Casino opened in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Mirage featured TreeScapes’ brand new, proprietary, IFR, Preserved Palm Trees, and a new chapter in the indoor artificial tree industry began. TreeScapes set a new standard for beauty and safety, both of which remain to this day.
How Are IFR Trees Made?
Inherently Fire Retardant products utilize materials that have been engineered at the molecular level to imbed flame resistant properties. IFR is a vast improvement over products that are topically treated with fire retardant chemicals.
Topical treatments will wash off and lose effectiveness over time. Buyer beware: non-IFR, indoor artificial trees and plant products are available on the market today. Silk trees and plants are popular, but they have a much higher risk of flammability. In addition, there are less than scrupulous companies, which purposely mislabel their product as IFR.
IFR Trees at TreeScapes
TreeScapes highly recommends that all designers, architects, managers, and owners research their vendors and confirm the materials are IFR. One easy way to accomplish this is by shopping at TreeScapes!