December 2, 2023

'Many insulation materials are at risk of fire' - Science and Technology

‘Many insulation materials are at risk of fire’ – Science and Technology

The fire expert from the professional fire brigade said that the insulation material in insulated, climate-friendly buildings can act like fire accelerators.

In Milan, a fire broke out on the 15th floor of a skyscraper at night from Sunday to Monday. The fire spread at lightning speed in the building that was only eleven years old. Some of the fires are reminiscent of the towering fire in London Kensington in July four years ago. At that time, the insulation material also caught fire. The building was 43 years old but was renovated shortly before the fire. The fire spread to the newly insulated and rear ventilated facade within a few minutes. 72 people were killed.

Buildings with climate-friendly insulation are at risk of fire due to the insulation materials used. They can act like fire accelerators, said Francesca Monti, a fire expert from the Bolzano fire brigade.

As in the high-rise buildings that caught fire in Milan, materials that are excellent insulators are often used and, due to their composition, act as fire accelerators even if there is a flight of sparks. In light of the significant interest in building or renovating in a climate-friendly manner, guidelines have been issued. There is an ordinance from 2019 as well as a guide developed by the Bureau of Fire Prevention in collaboration with the Climate House Agency. However, there is no guarantee, Monty assures.