4 Surprising Things You Didn’t Know About Flame-Retarding


According to the U.S. Fire Administration, approximately 1,240,000 fires occurred in 2013 resulting in approximately 3,240 deaths.  With a death resulting in every .26 fires, the percentage has dropped tremendously due to safe practices implemented to prevent fires and lessen the extent of a fire.  Flame retardants play a vital role in fire safety and protection, and here are 4 surprising facts you did not know about flame retardants.

1. Flame retardants are not the same.

Believe it or not, different types of flame retardants are available.  Different types of flame retardants are important because the composition of flame retardants react in various ways with fire.  Specific products use distinct types of flame retardants to coincide with their use.  The most common types of flame retardants are brominated, chlorinated, inorganic, nitrogen, and phosphorus.  Brominated retardants are used on textiles, electronics, construction supplies, plastics, and foams, and chlorinated retardants are designed for polyurethane foam, rubber, and flexible plastics.  Inorganic retardants are specific for plastics, paints, adhesives, rubber, textile back coatings, wire, and cable, and nitrogen retardants are primarily for insulation, furniture foams, and electronics.  Phosphorus retardants are included on upholstery, mattresses, television casings, rubber, and plastics.

2. Flame retardants have a global presence.

Flame retardants are used in countries around the globe to help keep people safe from fires.  Asia-Pacific is the largest market consuming flame retardants with North America and Western Europe following behind.  Around the world, people understand the importance of using flame retardants to keep themselves and their belongings protected against fire.

3. By using flame retardants, you are increasing your chance at escaping a fire.

Flame retardants reduce the extent of the fire for a period of time, and when you use flame retardants on products or by products that have been treated with flame retardants, you are providing yourself with extra protection that will be crucial if a fire ever happens around you.  FireTect said, “A few seconds might not seem like a big deal, but when you are escaping a fire, those few seconds make all the difference in the world.”  Those few seconds mean extra steps for escaping or reducing the extent of your injuries.  By using products treated with flame retardants, you are giving yourself extra time with could ultimately mean the difference between life and death.

4. Flame retardants help regardless the reason of the fire.

Contrary to popular belief, cigarettes are the top cause of fire deaths at a home, and fires starting due to cooking are the top cause of home structure fires and injuries due to fires.  No matter why a fire starts, using flame retardants in your home will be advantageous for you and your family.  Flame retardants can help prevent fires from starting, reduce the fire’s severity and avoid flashovers.

Now that you know these 4 surprising facts about flame retardants, you can use them to protect yourself against the dangers of fires.  Share this information with friends and family so everyone is educated about the benefits of using flame retardants.  Even if you do not think a fire will happen to you, it is better to be safe rather than sorry.

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Kevin Schultz is a professional journalist with over 15 years of writing and media experience. He is a full-time contributor to the Themocracy Online News Blog and his insightful writing has been enjoyed by thousands.