Choice of thermal insulation does not affect the fire safety of a building
Finnfoam Oy has always emphasized the importance of structural fireproofing. The fire safety of a building cannot be affected by thermal insulation and instead it must always be ensured through structural solutions. Finnfoam does not include chemical fire retardants, as they are based on bromine, which is hazardous to the environment and humans. In case of a fire, Finnfoam does not produce specific toxic gases in addition to carbon monoxide, which means that in terms of burning it is comparable to wood.
The fire safety of a building can mainly be affected with the selection and maintenance of electrical devices, furniture materials and fabrics, and with the use of an automated extinguishing system. By contrast, the fire safety impact of thermal insulation is minor, because its ignition would require a temperature of 400 °C (at which temperature wood would also ignite). At this point, the inside temperature would have already reached at least 800–1,000 °C.
Finnfoam Oy has had VTT conduct an SBI test in accordance with the European standard conducted. The Finnfoam material, whose fire class is undetermined (NPD), achieved a fire rating of B (B-s1, d0) with a less than 3 mm thick combination of cement mortar and fiberglass mesh. Regarding smoke formation, the structure also achieved the highest possible rating -s1, which means that smoke formation was very minor.
As the inside temperature in a fire scenario reaches 300–500 °C, Finnfoam will melt off the walls (the softening temperature of Finnfoam is approximately 100 °C and melting point is below 200 °C) and the rate at which the inside temperature increases will be reduced, because the melting will bind thermal energy and the interior space will no longer be thermally insulated. Using non-melting insulation will result in a completely opposite scenario where the insulation will cause the inside temperature to shoot up to more than 1,000 °C and the fire will become even stronger.
Regardless of the thermal insulation material used, fire walls and barriers should be constructed according to standard practices. This will prevent fire from spreading. The use of stone or slag based thermal insulation for insulating flues is always advisable.