What are Inherently Fire Retardant (IFR) Trees?
The artificial tree and plant renaissance in America began in the 1920’s when speakeasies and nightclubs began to utilize artificial materials to replicate tropical products within their elaborate design themes. From Hollywood, California to New York City, movie stars, and mobsters danced 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. 492 people were killed. During the past 70 years, researchers and historians have identified dozens of safety violations that contributed to that fire. However, it was a turning point in the artificial decoration industry, and manufactures were asked to begin using non-flammable materials. By the mid-1970’s, new fire safety regulations were implemented, preventing 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.
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. In addition, there are less than scrupulous companies, which purposely mislabel their product as IFR. TreeScapes highly recommends that all designers, architects, managers and owners research their vendors and confirm the materials are IFR.