Fire-resistant homes and fire-proof homes are two common phrases that you’ll come across in the construction industry. Whether it’s a firewall, fire dampers, or fire doors, every resident in California wants to make their property fire-proof. However, it’s wrong to use “fire-proof” in this way.

Generally, nothing is fire-proof because anything can melt or burn whenever exposed to extremely high temperatures. Fire-resistance is the correct term to use in these cases.

Building Codes

As per the Underwriters Laboratories, it gives fire-resistance scores only when performing fire-resistant tests. Therefore, using the term “UL tested fire-proof”  when selling something is using it wrongly or intentionally planning to defraud.

UL-tested materials do not mean that the products have gone through the fire-resistance test. Therefore, don’t use fire-proof and tested to refer to something. Fire doors are the areas that record a significant percentage of cases where people use fire-resistant and fire-proof interchangeably.

More on these two terms

Most people consider the “fire-proof” term to be sounding more impressive than when using the “fire-resistant” term. However, differentiating between fire-proof and fire-resistance plays a critical role, especially when explaining fire doors. The reason behind this is that fire doors feature different fire-resistance scores and you should install them only in areas that suit the required resistance.

The fire door ratings rely on particular temperatures for particular times. Therefore, expect your passive fire system to fail if you install a fire-resistant door in areas with the wrong time/temperatures. Besides this, expect death or an injury if this passive fire system fails.

Another pivotal thing to note is that you can use fire-proof as a verb. However, you use it only when making some stuff fire-resistant. Now, it’s the final fire-resistant stuff that takes the fire-proofing term. Your home becomes fire-resistant after installing this fire-resistant material.

For example, you can make your house door fire resistant by fireproofing it. However, these doors are not real fire-proof.

What’s The Difference?

Fire resistance refers to the product/material resisting fire up to a specific duration or temperature. On the other hand, fire-proof refers to the product/material that remains impervious to fire without considering the duration or temperature.

Most safe suppliers and manufacturers use the words “fire-proof safes” wrongly because of a specific fire duration or temperature threshold.

As of now, the market does not have fire-proof safes. Instead, the market has only fire-resistant safes. This feature is similar to 99.99 percent of watches in the current – whereby they are marked water-resistant instead of waterproof. Generally, the market does not have 100% fire-proof materials.


Fire resistance means an active material installed in a building to slow down fire spreading. It’s the fire or smoke that activates this equipment, making it contain fire spreading.

Examples of fire protection equipment include systems like smoke screens and dampers. Builders install dampers inside the house’s wall. This is because they look similar to vents. Similarly, builders install smoke screens in house spaces with a height of above three stories.

Open atriums are examples of constructions that can benefit a lot from smoke screens. Note that these smoke screens play a pivotal role in preventing “chimney effects” whenever smoke appears in multi-level space.


Fire-proofing entails rendering your home fire-resistant. Generally, you can consider fire-proofing to be a passive fire-resistant measure. Here, you can treat various materials to become fire-proofed. For example, you can spray fire resistance on steel to offer heat resistance.

You can also apply fire-proofing substances to wood and more other materials.


Generally, fire-proofing and fire resistance play a pivotal role in slowing down fire spreading. However, fire-proofing being an inactive measure is the thing that creates a primary difference between the two.


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