Fire Protection System



An innovation in fire retardancy and preservation system to benefit thatch owners.


A new method of treating grass for thatch roofing and timber has been developed and patented by Micon and Timberlife. The process is based on the impregnation of grass/reed and other similar products with an innovative new product called THATCHBOR, a combination biological preservative and fire retardant.


The risk of a fire hazard associated with thatch can be significantly reduced with the application of THATCHBOR. So much so that insurance companies are prepared to offer a discount on premiums provided the product is used. THATCHBOR is a patented product and has achieved commercial success both locally and internationally. THATCHBOR is an approved CSIR fire retardant product tested to meet the requirement of SABS, UL (USA) and DIN (Germany).


An integral part of Micon and product development is listening and learning from its customers. The need for products to minimise the decay of thatch and at the same time provide fire protection was the challenge facing the research and development team. Micon’s experience in fire retardants was combined with TimberLife’s preservative knowledge and the outcome was the development of a biological preservative / fire retardant product for the treatment of thatch patented as THATCHBOR, a one step treatment product now available to home owners who require the benefits of a biological preservative as well as a fire retardancy protection.


The innovative aspect of THATCHBOR is the treatment process. The wax layer on the surface of the grass normally prevents the absorption of treatment products into the grass stem. THATCHBOR has been specifically developed for impregnation which facilitates the penetration of the product right into the heart of the grass stem thus providing full treatment of the grass.

The advantages of this process are that now, for the first time, the full depth of the thatch roof is treated thus eliminating the risk of an untreated core. Once THATCHBOR has been impregnated into the grass stem the effects of leaching are minimal and the protection is permanent. Unlike conventional spray-on applications, no further treatment is required.

A mobile treatment facility has been constructed to offer a full “on-site” treatment service to thatchers thereby reducing additional transport costs, also a number of timber treaters have now been licensed to treat thatch with THATCHBOR.


The recent development of THATCHBOR provides a perfect combination with FLAMBOR, a wood preservative / fire retardant timber treatment product. The Micon/TimberLife joint venture now offer a complete “system” for the protection of thatch structures which includes biological preservative and fire retardant treatment of both thatch and timber structure THATCHBOR provides full protection for the thatch roof whilst FLAMBOR, a boron fire retardant combination, imparts full protection for the timber.


  • Fire safety assurance together with prolonged durability against fungal decay and insect attach see CSIR report
  • Tested in accordance with SABS, CSIR, DIN and UL (modified) and ASTM E-108 fire requirements
  • Pre-treatment of the grass by an impregnation process ensuring total thatch protection
  • Proper control of active ingredient uptake and retention levels
  • Permanent once-off treatment
  • Minimal effects from leaching as the active ingredients are deposited inside the grass stem
  • Reduction in allergens, the cause of many allergies in children
  • Quality assurance monitored by the SABS and the CSIR
  • Environmentally safe
  • Mobile treatment facility
  • Patented technology


The Thatchbor system has been extensively used by various thatching companies, both in South Africa and internationally. The advantage of Flambor / Thatchbor is that the highveld thatching grass, treated with Thatchbor can be used in virtually any environment – high humidity to freezing temperatures without any adverse effects to the grass.