Fire safety is all about risk. The probability of a serious fire in any building may be low, but the potential consequences are enormous. ROCKWOOL insulation contributes to fire safety in multiple ways, but first and foremost we should all be educated.
In 2013, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 369,500 home structure fires. These fires caused 2,755 deaths, 12,200 civilian injuries, and $7.0 billion in direct damage1. Canada’s latest report revealed that residential fires accounted for 30% of all fires with cooking as the leading cause2.
Unwanted fires can have many consequences including property damage, business interruption, environmental pollution and most importantly life safety. Examples and statistics about fires in the Unites States can be found at the National Fire Protection Association.
ROCKWOOL products contribute to fire safety in a multitude of ways:
- Delays the spread of fire and may provide you and your family with precious extra seconds to escape.
- Fire spreads quickly – a small fire can turn into a raging inferno within seconds. An escape plan is critical to get out safely.
- ROCKWOOL insulation won’t burn, or release toxic gases or smoke when exposed to high heat.
- Smoke kills – fire produces toxic fumes and these fumes tend to rise, so danger increases at higher levels in the room.
- ROCKWOOL resists temperatures of up to 2150◦F (1177◦C) without burning or melting which is well above heat levels of typical house fires.
- Fire is HOT - the intensity of the heat alone can be fatal. Heat rises so stay close to the ground.
- ROCKWOOL insulation products are often used in dedicated fire protection systems for buildings and industrial equipment
- Install smoke alarms on every story of your home (including the basement), in every bedroom, and outside sleeping areas.
- Be sure to test them monthly, clean them every six months, replace batteries in spring and fall, and replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old or sooner if they don’t respond properly.
- Make sure everyone in the home knows the sound of the smoke alarm and understands what to do when they hear it.
- Develop a fire escape plan for your family and practise it.
- A small fire can spread rapidly––you may only have minutes or seconds to escape. When going over the details of your escape plan, check windows and doors to ensure all open easily. Know your local emergency number (911).
- Never stop to gather belongings or re-enter a home after safely outside.
- Use fire-rated, non-combustible products when renovating.
- Your choice of insulation, for example, can be vital.
- Place fire extinguishers on every level of your home.
- Place them in high-risk areas like the kitchen, near fireplaces, and in the garage. Use an extinguisher only for small, contained fires that are not spreading rapidly. Know how to operate it before an emergency occurs using the PASS method: Pull pin, Aim low, Squeeze lever and Sweep from side to side. The safest option is always to evacuate your home and call for help.
1 Source: National Association of Fire Protection