RESTON, Va., Dec. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Home fires typically increase this time of year from Christmas trees, candles, electrical cords, space heaters, etc. Fire chiefs are also seeing an increase in home fires resulting from the combination of increased insulation and certain types of exterior wall cladding.
A November 21 NBC News Washington story examines a Loudoun County, Virginia house that caught fire when a cigarette left on the deck ignited the vinyl siding and foam board insulation. The fire reached the home's attic in less than 10 minutes and spread so rapidly it trapped three firefighters on the second floor of the home.
The story references a two-year million-dollar study by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) that compares how fast an outdoor fire can turn into a dangerous attic fire among common exterior house sidings. In UL's study, the combination of vinyl siding and foam board insulation became a fully engulfed attic fire in less than two minutes. Cedar shingles and cement board siding took 20 minutes to reach the attic. Steve Kerber, the director of the Firefighter Safety Research Institute at Underwriters Laboratories said brick and stone don't catch fire.
"You could put a fire on brick or stone all day long and you're not going to burn a house down through brick," said Kerber.
"We are not surprised with the findings of the Underwriters Laboratories Study," said Ray Leonhard, president and CEO of the Brick Industry Association (BIA). "In laboratory tests and in actual situations, brick provides superior fire protection. In fact, the level of safety that brick provides is a key reason why cities and citizens have chosen time and again to rebuild with brick after major fire events. There is no exterior cladding material safer than genuine clay brick."
The NBC News story is consistent with BIA's fire testing conducted at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas. These tests show that vinyl siding burned after only eight minutes, fiber cement siding burned within one hour and brick withstood the flames past one hour.
Founded in 1934, BIA at www.gobrick.com is the nationally recognized authority on clay brick construction representing the nation's distributors and manufacturers of clay brick and suppliers of related products. Twitter: @BrickIndustry https://twitter.com/BrickIndustry. YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/BrickIndustry Telephone: 703-620-0010.
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SOURCE Brick Industry Association (BIA)