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SCDF-compliant awning

Is it necessary? Who is affected?

Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) has flagged fire safety requirements (FSR) on ALL outdoor shades (e.g. retractable awnings, fixed composite panel roof, outdoor blinds, etc).

These outdoor shading systems are regulated by SCDF as Fire Safety Products (FSP) especially at outdoor refreshment areas (ORAs) or condominium patios/balconies or HDB shopfronts & etc.

Owners, architects, engineers, builders, and all other professionals are welcome to enquire or seek clarification with us, Decorial Pte Ltd, as we have managed many cases of awnings that require SCDF compliance, ranging from small retail units (less than S$ 10,000 in value) to large scale projects (more than S$ 1,000,000.00 in value).

Our expertise in this field is only made possible with frequent consultation/sharing with SCDF and our in-house or partnering Qualified Person (QP) to provide a one-stop solution for all outdoor shades with total compliance to local authority standards.

Who can provide certification or testing?

In order to ensure that specific material is approved for use by SCDF, the material must be tested, accredited and/or certified by a Certification Body (CB) such as (TUV SUD PSB, SETSCO, Mutual Recognition Arrangement – MRA & etc).

In Singapore, fire safety requirements adhere strictly to British Standard (BS) or European Norm (EN) or unless stated as an equivalent standard in SCDF FSRs. Owners/Professionals are reminded not to confuse BS 476 Part 6/7 ‘Class 1/0’ with other classes e.g. Italian Standard ‘Class 1’ or French ‘Class M1’ or ‘German B1’ as they do not correlate unless acceptable in SCDF’s classification.

Qualified CBs will issue a Certificate of Conformity if the material or product is classified as a Fire Safety Product (FSP) by SCDF.

Is having a Certificate of Conformity (COC) enough?

No, having a product/material with a Certificate of Conformity (COC) issued does not necessarily mean that total compliance and approval.

End users should engage a Qualified Person (QP) to conduct a proper case review and submission to authorities to include review on:

  • Adequate ventilation,
  • Risk of flame spread to adjacent or nearby units,
  • Fire escape route,
  • Staircase landing,
  • Material thickness,
  • Smoke production,
  • Toxicity droplet,
  • Existing fire hose reel range,
  • Fire sprinkler protection,
  • Backed up by passive fire protection (auto-retraction in times of fire),
  • Uninterruptible power supply (UPS) to ensure auto-retraction during power failure
  • Compliance with other authorities (BCA, URA, MOM, SLA, etc.)
  • Various conditions for waivers
  • & more

Finding Balance. What are some other critical factors to consider?

Every product or material has its strengths and limitations. Besides flammability, other critical factors include, but are not limited to: Water resistance; Tensile/Tear Strength; Adhesion/Abrasion Resistance; Colour Selection; System Reliability; Excessive Weight; Building Standardization & Joint Submission more.

For example:

  • having excessive water-repellent coating increases material flammability;
  • having excessive fiberglass content makes the material fragile or less abrasion resistant;
  • having excessive Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) or plastic content increases the chances of elongation, water ponding and tearing
  • silicon-coated fiberglass is translucent-white in nature which is more prone to visible dirt/stains besides having a plain or mundane appearance;
  • the list goes on to highlight different strengths vs limitations the point to note is Finding Balance.

‘Decorial Pte Ltd’ has launched a diversified range of qualified flame-rated material for different system types through years of experience, research, development and testing. Besides flame spread rating, other important factors of consideration include:

  • Water resistance
    • Standard or common (non-flame rated) acrylic fabrics in Singapore originate from Europe and has a water repellence of 1000 mm
    • Some European flame-rated fabrics has reduced water repellence approx. 350 mm
    • 100% waterproof flame-rated fabrics are available but are not the correct material for use on retractable arm awnings due to excessive weight, breathability, ventilation and water ponding issues (requires strong tension to keep fabric tight and taut)
    • Our FR EVO fabrics ensure 3x (times) greater water repellency (to ensure water-tightness while maintaining breathability/ventilation with exceptional weight-to-power ratio).
  • Tensile / Tear strength
    • Standard or common (non-flame rated) acrylic fabrics in Singapore originate from Europe and has a tensile strength of approx. 140 daN/5cm (Warp) and 95 daN/5cm (Weft)
    • Our FR EVO fabrics has a tensile strength of approx. 160% (Warp) and 130% (Weft) ratings compared to standard acrylic fabrics. 
  • Adhesion / Abrasion Resistance
    • Fabrics with silicon / PVC / plastic content has an adhesive touch. If these fabrics are mounted retractable frames, the adhesive surfaces will lead to severe wear and tear in time to come.
    • Especially for the classic arm-type awnings which require compensators every 6.00 meters of installation length, the friction against compensators will definitely cause tearing or cracking (in the case of silicon-coated fiberglass).
    • Our FR EVO fabrics has a silky texture thanks to its polyester core. Abrasion, wear & tear is reduced to minimum and better in performance than standard acrylic fabrics or PVC or silicon-coated fiberglass.
  • Colour selection
    • Different fabric colours provide different UV Protection Factor (UPF). For example, white colour or translucent colours means less UPF factors. Darker colours provide greater UPF factors.
    • Silicon-coated fiberglass fabrics comes only in white or translucent colour with poor UPF.
    • Our FR EVO fabrics comes in a variety of colours to match your preference on aesthetics and UV protection factors.
  • System
    • With a top-quality performance fabric, end-users should also consider system quality and performance. Classic or ‘GIANT’ arm-type retractable awnings originated from Europe and later low-quality copies are produced in China, Singapore or Malaysia, etc.
    • There are plenty of cases of arm breaking, falling, and causing damages to surround properties or even people (you may request from us:  local or China system damages photo installed by others)
    • On the other hand, European system manufacturers go through intensive research & development (R&D), continuous testing and upgrading to ensure their products comply with International Standard EN13561 in terms of wind resistance or product cycle (1 cycle = 1 opening + 1 closing)
    • End-users should always verify claims of the “imported” system by the relevant import documents. When in doubt, always check for OEM verification to confirm product origin.
  • Weight
    • Standard or common (non-flame rated) acrylic fabrics in Singapore originate from Europe and has an average weight of 340 g/m 2
    • PVC-based or silicon-coated fiberglass can weigh in the range of 500 g/m 2 to 1000 g/m 2 . Heavier materials may cause sagging or water ponding as typical spring-tensioned systems (besides our ‘GIANT’ Arm Retractable Systems from France) are not able to keep the fabric taut at all times.
    • Our FR EVO fabrics have an approx. weight of 340 g/mto ensure an excellent power-to-weight ratio. 
  • Building Standardization / Joint Submission
    • Façade’s aesthetic look do affect property prices and could be an eyesore to passersby. Imagine looking at a building with different color selections, torn or flappy fabrics.
    • Our professional service provides a one-stop solution for building managers to consolidate and conduct a joint inspection, review, submission, and installation.
    • Our QP submission saves cost by consolidation plans/unit types in a single submission while the standardization ensures a uniform building aesthetic outlook.