How Cellulose Insulation Performs In House Fires

Cellulose Insulation Protects Homeowners During House Fires.

Among the many benefits of cellulose insulation, beyond its core insulating properties, is the extra fire safety it provides to homeowners.

In many cases home fires start as silent events, often in the attic. Insulation from wires gnawed by a rodent, old faulty wiring failing, recessed ceiling lights overheating and other factors can lead to slow ignition, which too often quickly turns into a roaring house fire. Depending on the building materials in place, fire can quickly spread before occupants are fully aware of the situation. Smoke suddenly appears followed quickly by the flames and the results can be loss of property and even injury or death.

Cellulose insulation has a Class 1 Fire rating. It includes fire retardants designed to low the spread of flames in house and building fires where it is installed. The product also has a slow smoke development index level helping to minimize the amount of smoke emitted when the insulation is exposed to flames.

A recent news story from The Star newspaper website in Indiana is a good example of how cellulose insulation performs in a house fire. In this case, firefighters were called when the occupants of a duplex detected a problem. All occupants on both levels had time to safely exit the home. Firefighters handled the situation appropriately by opening the roof and vacuuming out the affected cellulose insulation. It is one of many such stories found online that demonstrate the fire safety benefits of having cellulose insulation installed in the attic of a home.

Yes, there was damage to the home. However, there were no injuries and had the insulation not slowed the spread of the flames the home could have easily been a total loss. Unfortunately, not all firefighters and officials are as knowledgeable about this specific intent of the cellulose insulation smoldering to slow a fire. Some mistakenly attribute the fire to the insulation. In fact, the product is performing as designed allowing all the affected insulation to be removed before other building members ignite – usually saving the structure and lives of occupants.

CIMA applauds the Auburn, Indiana firefighters for handling this situation correctly.

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