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Fire Proofing Paper

A sheet ot paper in flames.

As I am sure you are aware, paper is flammable. It ignites and burns easily. There is a solution.

Some years ago I was commissioned to fold a life-sized dolphin for a trade show in the SECC Glasgow and then to repeat the process a few months later at the ExCel London.

Both venues insisted that all exhibit materials must be fireproof. After searching around the interwebs for a short time, I discovered FireCheck.

Bottle of Fire Check

It describes itself as "a flame retardant spray that will treat anything that will absorb water. Simply apply a fine mist to all exposed surface areas of the article requiring treatment."

And I can assure you, dear reader, that it works a treat. See the pictures below for visual proof.

Set Up

1. This is the basic set-up. A sheet of paper suspended above a candle.

Untreated 1 second

2. After 1 second the untreated paper is well alight.

Untreated 10 secs

3. After just 10 seconds the untreated paper is nearly completely burnt.

Treated 1 second

4. After 1 second the treated paper has a small blackened area just above the candle flame.

Treated 30 seconds

5. After 30 seconds the small blackened area is only slightly larger and is still not alight.

Treated after 1 minute's constant flame.

6. Detail of total damage after 1 minute. The paper itself never caught alight.

FireCheck is very easy to apply - just spray it on and allow to dry. One word of warning though, the stuff smells strongly of piss - yes, piss. That is because it contains uric acid and ammonium bromide, which is a constituent of urine. However, the smell dissipates quite quickly and is soon unoticeable unless you put your nose right up to the surface of the paper.