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How Insulation Can Contribute To Fire Safety

By March 8, 2017Fire Safety News
Fire Safety

Most people consider insulation as a way of slowing heat transfer and making sure the building remains warm during winter and cool in hotter summer months. Proper insulation can help building owners to cut back on their heating and cooling bills. But other than that, choosing the right insulation can also prevent small fires from spreading quickly to the rest of your home. Below are a few options when it comes to insulation and how well they can help to protect your building from fire hazards.

Fiberglass Insulation

This is probably the most common insulation used in homes and commercial buildings. This type of insulation uses fine glass fibers which is noncombustible. Most people will opt for fiberglass insulation because it is cost effective, easy to install and versatile. Fiberglass insulation can be used as an acceptable fire block. However, some facings used in this type of insulation such as foil and kraft paper are combustible. Therefore, the insulation should be installed with a code-approved barrier in order to avoid creating an additional fire hazard.

Spray Foam Insulation

This type of insulation is created using foaming products such as polyurethane and polyisocyanurate. It is one of the most versatile forms of insulation because it can be used in different areas including enclosed existing walls, attic floors and open wall cavities. Application is easy since a handheld container is used to spray the foam in the desired area. There are spray foams that offer very poor fire protection on their own; that is why it is recommended that all foam materials should be covered with an approved thermal barrier like gypsum.

Cellulose Insulation

This type of insulation is made using paper products like newspapers. It is one of the eco-friendliest insulation products around. Paper products are shredded to make tiny pieces that are used to fill up building cavities where batts and rolls can’t be used. Since paper is highly combustible, the cellulose insulation must be treated with nontoxic borate. There are also cases where cellulose insulation is combined with ammonium sulfate. This helps to protect against fire hazards and also prevent insect infestation. For cellulose insulation to work best, it must be properly installed. This type of insulation, if well installed can withstand high temperatures of up to 1200degrees F.

Mineral Wool Insulation

Mineral wool insulation is made using natural minerals which include basalt and diabase. This is an eco-friendly choice because mineral wool is recycled. It comes in different forms including loose-fill, rolls and batts. This is one of the most impressive insulation options known to offer the best fire protection Toronto. Mineral wool insulation is composed of noncombustible fibers meaning that there is no need to spend an extra amount on fire-retardant chemicals. Unlike fiberglass, mineral wool insulation will not melt due to heat. It is designed to withstand high temperatures of up to 1,800 degrees F. If using kraft or paper-faced mineral wool, you’ll need to also install a code-approved barrier because those items are very combustible.