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Fire Safety with EPS

Fulfils all fire and safety requirements

When installed correctly, expanded polystyrene products do not present an increased fire hazard. All EPS building applications, as promoted by the European EPS industry, fulfill local building regulations in every European country.

Fire safe constructions with EPS

The purpose of this brochure is to clarify the fire performance of expanded polystyrene (EPS) when used as an insulation material in buildings. The document considers all aspects of the fire performance of EPS in terms of heat release, flame spread, smoke production and toxicity and its contribution to the propagation of fire. Detailed information is provided on the characteristics of EPS foam as a basis for evaluating its behaviour when subjected to ignition sources. The performance of fire retardant additives is also evaluated.

Document:
EUMEPS-Brochure "Fire Safe Construction with EPS" ( PDF, 610.17 kB)

Fire Risk Assessment of EPS ETICS

The Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT) undertook an extensive fire risk assessment of EPS ETICS. This shows that the life safety risks of EPS ETICS fulfilling at least B class criteria are limited and within the same level of safety as façade systems using only noncombustible materials. The main author of the report, renown European fire scientist Esko Mikkola, presented the report at the Global Insulation Conference in Aachen (September 2013) and in November at the first CSTB organised "European conference on fire safety of facades" in Paris. The presentation was well received by the audience of fire experts.

Documents:
Summary of VTT Report "Fire safety of EPS ETICS" ( PDF, 821.84 kB)
VTT Report "Fire safety of EPS ETICS" ( PDF, 1.39 MB)
Skin deep ( PDF, 415.96 kB): Article on fire safety of ETICS with EPS. In: Fire Risk Management (FRM), the international journal for fire safety professionals.

Behaviour of EPS in case of fire

The purpose of this document is to clearly quantify the fire performance of expanded polystyrene (EPS) when used as an insulation material in buildings. This document will consider all aspects of the fire performance of EPS in terms of heat release, flame spread, smoke production and toxicity and its contribution to the propagation of fire. Detailed information is provided on the characteristics of EPS foam as a basis for evaluating its behaviour when subjected to ignition sources. The performance of fire retardant additives is also evaluated. This information can be used for hazard assessment taking into account the complexity of a real fire and the difficulty of modelling real fire situations from scaled tests.

Document:
EUMEPS-Brochure "Behaviour of EPS in case of fire" ( PDF, 301.75 kB)

View Paper on Fire Safety in Buildings

Plastics are used in a wide and growing range of building and construction applications, from durable pipes and window frames to state of the art insulation solutions. As a result, fire safety has always been and continues to be a major objective for the plastics industry and an integral part of product design and manufacturing. Over the years, our industry has increased efforts to develop plastic materials, products and construction solutions with lower ignitability and limited impact on fire spread that have contributed to the ongoing reduction of fatalities, injuries and property damage due to fire.

Document:
View Paper on Fire Safety in Buildings (PDF – 209.35 kB)

Fire Safety Statistics

Since many years a discussion is ongoing about fire safety. Some create the impression that the number of fire victims (casualties and injured)  and the amount of fire damage increases dramatically. The suggestion is made that energy efficiency measures and especially increasing insulation levels play an important role. However there is no statistical evidence supporting these suggestions. Available evidence rather seems to point in the opposite direction. Most difficult part in these discussions is the lack of reliable fire safety statistics. The quality of national fire statistics varies a lot, but is questionable in most cases. The content and methodology varies a lot from country to country, making it impossible to compile European statistics and making country-to-country comparisons. Fire is phenomena with considerable financial and social impact. Stakeholders involved expect reliable European harmonised statistics and frequently are surprised finding out they are not-existent. Now is the moment to put EU fire statistics on the agenda.

Document:
EUMEPS views on the extension of the European statistical program (PDF – 225.94 kB)

Initial ignition experiments with EPS