It’s likely that fire safety isn’t the first thing that springs to mind when choosing a new carpet. It’s more likely you’re thinking about looks, the way the carpet feels, how durable it is, or whether it will fit your budget. But have you ever stopped to consider how much of your home is covered with carpet?
- Wool is difficult to ignite – For wool to ignite, it needs more oxygen than is naturally available in the atmosphere, making it unlikely that it will catch fire. And as fire takes oxygen from the air in order to burn, there will be even less oxygen present in the event of a fire; the result? A wool-based carpet is even less likely to catch fire. Another reason for the low likelihood of flammability for wool and wool/blend carpets is the fact that wool absorbs moisture from the atmosphere. This, along with the high nitrogen content of 14% helps reduce the chances of ignition. The high ignition temperature of wool also adds to its low flammability credentials. You need temperatures of around 600°C to ignite wool – which are unlikely in the early stages of a house fire.
- Wool extinguishes quickly – Should you be unlucky enough for your wool carpets to catch fire, you can be reassured that they are unlikely to burn well. Because the heat energy from wool is relatively low, it’s less likely to cause other materials to catch fire. If wool does burn, then the surface layer chars and forms a barrier to the flames; this protects your home. The charred layer protects the flames getting to the fresh wool under the surface, as well as to the underlay and the highly flammable floorboards underneath. When heated, the structure of the wool fibre swells forming an insulating layer. This, combined with the fact that it doesn’t melt or drip means that wool and wool-blend carpets help prevent the spread of flames for better safety.
- Wool carpets are a naturally safer solution – Smoke is recognised as a huge danger in the case of housefires – so any substance that gives off less smoke is preferable in the event of a fire. Although wool does smoke when burning, it’s at a much lower level than other textile fibres, making it a better choice in this respect. It’s also worth considering the day-to-day benefits of a naturally fire-retardant carpet. Synthetic carpets may need applications of fire-resistance coatings to make them acceptably fire-retardant, and these treatments can affect the health of individuals regularly using these spaces. Wool does away with the need for these treatments, making it a safer and simpler solution from all angles.
- Wool is a smart move for fire-safety – Fitting wool or wool-blend carpets to your home or property is a wise decision for fire-safety. With lower flammability ratings than natural or synthetic alternatives, you will have the reassurance of a warmer, better-looking, safer home. Put simply, wool doesn’t catch fire easily, and if it does catch fire, it tends to extinguish quickly. Which makes it an excellent choice for safety. What more could you ask for?
A guide from Penthouse Carpets. Copyright Penthouse Carpets © 2015 Penthouse Carpets Ltd. – British Made Carpets – Buckley Carpet Mill , Buckley Road, Rochdale, Lancashire, OL12 9DU 01706 639866