Genuine Dricon® FRT Wood

Dricon® Fire Retardant Treated (FRT) wood is an effective and economical material for reducing the effects of fire. It impedes both flame spread and smoke development. Building code and related agencies recognize it as an alternative to materials classified as noncombustible for a range of applications, and it has been issued a code evaluation report.

Introduced in 1981, Dricon® FRT wood is a development of Arch Wood Protection intended for interior, weather-protected applications. Since that introduction, Dricon® FRT wood has proven itself in countless structures of many different types. For how it works, click here.

Fire retardant treated wood has been used for decades in institutional buildings. As more homes are built near forests and wildlands, the threat of fire is increasing to residential property and inhabitants. Dricon® FRT wood provides an extra measure of safety for homeowners and may even increase escape time in the event of a fire. Learn more about residential use.

Dricon® FRT wood provides greater design latitude for the architect, engineer and contractor, and removes many barriers associated with conventional noncombustible materials such as masonry and steel. The use of Dricon® FRT wood can result in greater safety and offers a less costly alternative to the use of sprinklers or parapet walls. It offers all of the environmental and other advantages of wood. Plus, it is backed by three separate warranties.

Each batch of Dricon® FR chemical is inspected and tested to be sure it adheres to the specifications of Arch Wood Protection and Underwriters Laboratories. The Dricon® chemical meets current AWPA standards as a fire retardant and as a preservative in above-ground, weather-protected uses.

Dricon® FRT wood is ideal for use:

  • Where other materials would permit a fire to spread without restriction from an ignition source.
  • In areas of construction where there is inadequate water supply or fire protection.
  • In indoor construction staging, scaffolds, workmen’s shanties, etc. during construction or repairs of expensive equipment or multi-story buildings.
  • In areas where sprinkler systems cannot be readily installed, such as framing under raised platforms or theater stages, floor framing, walls, stud areas enclosed under roofs, and framing for all types of remodeling work.
  • In health care facilities where a versatile and economical construction system is desirable, but life safety cannot be compromised.
  • In homes located in areas prone to wildfires or anywhere fire safety is a concern.

Some specific uses of Dricon® FRT wood include:

  • Studs, wall plates and fire stops with metal lath and plaster or dry wall construction for interior non-bearing walls and partitions where noncombustible construction is required (See codes for specific details).
  • Roof systems including the deck, purlins, joists, metal-plate-connected wood trusses.
  • Air return plenum in HVAC systems.
  • Studs, joists and sheathing in sensitive areas housing computer and electronic systems.
  • Shelving bins, tote boxes, work benches, pallets.
  • Wood members in recreation areas such as camps or lodges, which may be at a high fire risk because they are not inhabited during certain seasons or are in areas of inadequate fire protection services.
  • Architectural applications, such as interior siding and millwork.
  • Sheathing that must meet missile-impact requirements in hurricane-prone areas.
  • For exterior uses and applications exposed to water, use FRX® exterior FRT wood.

Limitations: Dricon® FRT wood can only be used in above-ground locations, protected from precipitation, regular condensation, or other wetting. Exposure of Dricon® treated wood to these conditions will, over a period of time, reduce its fire retardance and preservative effectiveness. Dricon® used as sill plate, or in contact with concrete that contacts the ground, is an approved application and does not void the warranties.


Code Acceptance

Building code organizations and related agencies recognize Dricon® FRT wood as an alternative to materials classified as noncombustible for a range of applications.  The uses for fire retardant treated wood as an alternative to noncombustible materials are specifically noted in the model building codes, downloadable below. In general, the codes permit the use of fire retardant treated wood in specific components and/or locations as an alternate for noncombustible materials in cases when combustible materials including untreated wood are not permitted.

The model building codes require that every piece of FRT wood bear the identification mark of an approved inspection agency. Each piece of Dricon® FRT wood is marked with an ink stamp bearing the classification mark of Underwriters Laboratories, Inc., describing its surface burning characteristics. The mark further identifies the name and location of the treating plant and will show that the material complies with AWPA standards, has been dried after treatment and qualifies as an Interior Type A, low hygroscopic product.

Dricon® FRT wood has been evaluated and issued a report (ESR-1626) by International Code Council (ICC) Evaluation Services, providing evidence that it meets the requirements of model building codes for interior FRT wood. ICC creates model building codes used throughout the U.S.; its evaluation reports are accepted in nearly all cases by local building officials. To download ESR-1626, click here (PDF).

See the following documents for additional code information. These files are in PDF file format and require a PDF reader to view. You can download  Adobe Reader for free.

Compliance with Industry Standards

The American Wood Protection Association (AWPA) develops standards for the wood preserving industry in the United States to ensure that treated wood products perform satisfactorily for their intended use. Dricon® FR chemicals and Dricon® FRT wood are acceptable under AWPA’s P & U standards.

Model Specifications

To download the Dricon® FRT wood model specifications as a modifiable MS Word (2002) document, click here.

An editable model specification is provided here as a convenience to architects and design professionals to ensure that products purchased for a given project meet their intentions. Model specifications typically include criteria defined in building codes and industry standards, but may also include additional characteristics, such as warranties, third-party certification and special properties, to provide desired features. As such, this model may be edited. We present it in electronic form as a service in order to save time and paperwork for specifiers.


Recommended Hardware

Galvanized steel hardware is recommended for use with Dricon® FRT wood. Although Dricon treatment does not increase corrosion of bare or galvanized steel, the galvanizing provides an extra measure of protection of any treated wood.

Design Values

Dricon® FRT wood has recommended fastener design value adjustments based on full size independent testing completed at Virginia Polytechnic Institute. The adjustments for lateral and withdrawal loading of nailed, screwed and bolted joints range from 0 to 8 percent reduction.

The chemicals in Dricon® FRT wood are of very low toxicity and will not harm those involved in use and handling of the product. Normal safety and hygiene practices of working with untreated wood should be followed: wear gloves to avoid splinters, use a dust mask and eye protection when using power tools and wash your hands after working. Ingestion tests have demonstrated that extreme amounts of wood must be ingested before the chemical exposure would become significant. Tests have shown smoke from Dricon® FRT wood to be no more toxic than untreated wood. Contact your supplier or Arch Wood Protection for further information.

Tips on Use

Dricon® treatment does not substantially change the physical characteristics of ordinary lumber. Proper handling procedures should be followed when using Dricon® lumber and plywood.

  • Dricon® wood should not be installed where it will be exposed to precipitation, direct wetting, regular condensation, or come into contact with the ground.
  • When storing Dricon® wood, the material should be kept off the ground and covered to shield it from precipitation.
  • When installing Dricon® FRT lumber and plywood it is important to utilize the design value adjustments published in ESR-1626 (PDF) or on this site.
  • Dricon® plywood should be spaced and fastened as recommended in “Design and Construction Guide for Residential and Commercial Uses,” published by APA-The Engineered Wood Association.
  • Normal carpentry practices are applicable. End cutting, drilling, joining, and light surface sanding will not significantly reduce the benefits of the Dricon® treatment. Ripping and milling of lumber is not recommended since they may alter the burning characteristics and invalidate the Underwriters Laboratories flame spread classification. Plywood may be cut in any direction.
  • When painting or staining, the paint or stain manufacturer’s recommendations should be followed. As with untreated lumber, the surface should be clean and dry. Cutting to length, drilling holes, joining cuts, and light sanding are permissible. It is not necessary to field-treat cut ends to maintain flame spread rating.
  • Ripping and milling are not permitted except on red oak and yellow poplar lumber. Surfacing to a depth of 1/16″ is permitted on western red cedar lumber. On other species, these operations may alter the surface burning characteristics and will invalidate the UL label.
  • Carbide-tipped saw blades are recommended if extensive cutting operations are to be performed. However, Dricon® FRT wood is not as abrasive as many conventional fire retardants.
  • Unlike FRT lumber, Dricon® plywood can be cut in either direction without loss of fire protection in that surface burning characteristics of plywood are unchanged.
  • Do not burn treated wood.
  • Do not use pressure-treated chips or sawdust as mulch.

When used and handled properly, in accordance with these recommendations, you will receive many years of service from your Dricon® FRT wood.


Under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), it is the responsibility of the user of the product to determine, at the time of disposal, whether the product meets RCRA criteria for hazardous waste. This product is typically not considered a hazardous waste but state-run waste programs may be more stringent. Check with your local or state regulators prior to disposal.


Stain, sealers, varnishes, and paints can be used with Dricon® FRT wood. Paint systems may be water- or oil-based. Stains, especially dark colored semi-transparent types, should be solvent-based to avoid possible surface crystallization of the fire retardant chemical. Flammability of finish should be considered prior to application. A light sanding and thorough wiping should be performed prior to the application of any finish to provide a clean surface and to smooth any raised grain. In the case of rough sawn lumber or textured plywood, brush the surface prior to staining.

Take precautions at the job site to protect the treated product from exposure to rain or extreme dampness if finishes are to be applied. As with untreated wood, excessive surface moisture can cause finishing problems. It is recommended that finishes be tested in an unobtrusive area to insure satisfaction.

Normal marking from treatment will show unless surface preparation prior to finishing is conducted. When clear or semi-transparent finishes are to be used, take careful note of the appearance characteristics of Dricon® FRT wood.


The Dricon® treatment does not adversely affect the performance of nonstructural construction adhesives, mastics, or contact cements. No significant differences in effectiveness between Dricon® FRT wood and untreated wood have been found.

Some types of isocyanate and urethane adhesives have been found to perform well. In any type of gluing, and especially in structural applications, an evaluation should be made of the specific adhesive and materials to be glued. Be sure the Dricon® wood surface is clean and dry to obtain best performance.

1. What is the hourly fire resistance rating for Dricon® FRT wood?
Though fire resistance ratings are generally obtained from testing specific assemblies rather than one particular component, there are ways to calculate assembly resistance from individual products. For more information click here (PDF). For more fire information click here.

2. Is Dricon® FRT wood typically used in homes or in commercial applications?
Dricon® FRT wood is frequently used is multi-family dwellings, schools, hospitals, office buildings, theaters, shopping centers, and wherever building codes require an extra measure of protection for occupants. In some areas, the use of FRT wood in residential construction is now required by ICC’s International Urban-Wildland Interface Code.

3. Where is Dricon® FRT wood typically used in homes?
Dricon® FRT wood can be used for all framing members or just for critical components such as stairways, chimney wraps and door and window casings.

4. What codes and standards recognize Dricon® FRT wood?
Dricon® fire retardant or Dricon® FRT wood complies with or has been granted the following:

  • AWPA T1 Section 8.8
  • AWPA P17 (FR-1), P5 (SBX)
  • AWPA U1 (UC1, UC2, UCFA) and former C9, C20, C27, C31
  • Flamespread and smoke development rating of 25 or less
  • Class A FRT wood
  • ICC-ES Report ESR-1626
  • NFPA 703, 101 Life Safety Code
  • EPA registration (62190-9)
  • UL Building Materials Directory
  • UL Recognized Component
  • NYC MEA 199-81-M
  • NYC MEA 200-81-M
  • Factory Mutual Class I Roof Deck
  • City of Los Angeles (RR 25122)
  • FHA Minimum Property Standard #2600
  • HUD Materials Release (1261)
  • ASTM D 5516 & D 5564
  • MIL-L-19140 QPL
  • National Building Code of Canada
  • Truss warranty program with Structural Building Components Association (formerly Wood Truss Council of America)

(All are subject to revision, re-examination)

5. How does Dricon® FRT wood work? Is there a demonstration video available for viewing?
Dricon® FRT wood works automatically when exposed to fire. For additional details, and to see a demonstration click here.

6. What are the three warranties backing Dricon® FRT wood?
To view and download the warranties covering roof system, preservative and truss manufacturers click here.

7. What are the flamespread and smoke developed ratings for Dricon® FRT wood?
Dricon® FRT wood qualifies as a Class A/Class 1 fire retardant with flamespread and smoke developed ratings of 25 or less. For more information click here.

8. What are other relevant properties of the product?
Dricon® FRT wood has several exceptional characteristics.

9. Does Dricon® FRT wood offer protection against termites and decay too?
Yes, Dricon® FRT wood offers EPA-registered protection against termites and decay. Click here for more on preservative properties.

10. What do I need to know about finishing and gluing Dricon® FRT wood?
Stains, sealers, varnishes, and paints can be used with Dricon® FRT wood. Click here for more information.

11. Are AIA credits available for learning more about Dricon® and other brands of preserved wood?
Earn Learning Units, good toward AIA Continuing Education Units (CEU’s), in two ways:

  1. on an individual basis online, or
  2. through group courses conducted by certified representatives of Arch Wood Protection.

Courses exist on both fire retardant and preservative treated wood, and these qualify for 1 Learning Unit each in the Health, Safety, Welfare area.

For the online courses, see Scroll down to Division 6, Wood and Plastics.  Select the course you want. On-screen instructions will explain how to set up an account and take the course.  (There is no charge for this.)

For groups, contact Arch Wood Protection at

12. What is the Danback backing system for steel studs, which is made with Dricon® FRT wood?
It’s a wood backing system for steel studs that reduces installation time by 90%. In the past, backing steel studs for the attachment of cabinets, fixtures and handrails has always been difficult, costly and time consuming. The patented Danback™ flexible wood backing plate actually flexes around the stud and snaps in place for a snug, perfect fit. No cutting, routing or notching is required.

Dricon® fire retardant treated

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Dricon® fire retardant treated plywood

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Pressure Treated Products