This is a question we get from time to time. It’s important to know that while spray foam insulation has fire retardants mixed in, as with most building materials, it is not fireproof. Most spray foams are a Class 1 spray foam and have better smoke development, flame spread numbers and auto ignition points than wood.
For example, SEALECTION 500, one of the products we use, has a flame spread index of 21 and a smoke developed number of 216 – which are both very good. As you can see on the product’s technical data sheet, the spontaneous ignition temperature for SEALECTION 500 is 1040°F. In comparison, the spontaneous ignition temperature for wood is 662°F. Watch the Demilec APX Spray Foam burn test video below to see how spray foam might perform in a fire situation.
While the spray foam product in the video does not have an ignition barrier or ignition barrier coating, most spray foam products will always need some kind of ignition barrier or thermal barrier. Be sure to consult the Evaluation Service Report (ESR) for the detailed uses of ignition and thermal barrier needs for the product you intend to use. All spray foams have individual reports, like this one for SEALECTION 500.
People also wonder if smoke from spray foam is more dangerous, but it is not. Like other organic materials, including wood, smoke from spray foam is a mixture of many gases. The major components of smoke from Icynene spray foam insulation are carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide.
If we can help answer questions you have about spray foam insulation, give us a call. We are always available to help you!