Is Foam Insulation Fire Resistant?

Yes, aerosol foam is flammable, but it has a “class 1 hour” fire resistance rating. This means that it can help control the spread of a fire and, in any case, will not act as an accelerant. Aerosol foam insulation ignites when the temperature caused by extreme heat reaches 700°F. After application, it will emit gas or the propellant gas that is used to dispense the foam as it expands and dries.

Propellant gas can catch fire and cause an explosive force, especially when the source of ignition is present. Most building codes, including the International Residential Code (IRC), require that spray foam insulation be covered with a 15-minute thermal barrier when installed inside basement walls. During its application, aerosol foam is also extremely dangerous, since the propellant gas used to dispense the aerosol foam can burn and explode or burst into flames, especially when it comes into contact with an ignition force. Flame retardant foams (FR) that meet the FAR 25,853 specification are available. When planning to install new spray foam insulation or improve the one you already have at home, it's crucial to consider the fire resistance of spray foam, as it will help prevent your home and family from being endangered and will provide you with the security you need. According to the International Residential Code (IRC) and most building codes, spray foam insulation installed inside basement walls must be covered with a 15-minute thermal barrier.

It is important to check what insulation is resistant to the spread of fire and will prevent fires from spreading. Another precaution is to check the electrical wiring before and after the installation of aerosol foam insulation, since faulty or damaged wiring can cause sparks and fires when it comes into contact with an ignition source. The vapors that occur when aerosol foam is turned on can leave the occupants of the house unconscious and even cause temporary blindness. Fire retardants are available in powder form, to be mixed with water, such as firefighting foams and flame retardant gels. Aerosol foam insulation forms an airtight layer that prevents heat loss in winter, keeps buildings cooler in summer and strengthens roofs. It's also best to keep spray foam insulation away from any source of heat or ignition that could cause flames, such as light bulbs, furniture, wood, appliances and open flames, as it is highly combustible.

Since aerosol foam insulation that burns or melts can be very hazardous to health, especially when exposed for extended periods, it's best to call the fire department and let the professionals deal with the burned spray foam. Aerosol foam insulation is quite fire resistant, as it is normally treated with flame retardants to withstand heat and resist burns to a certain extent.