In an exclusive article for FIRE, Chief Fire Adviser Sir Ken Knight has outlined his enthusiastic support for wool as a sustainable fire-safe material. He said: 'Earlier in the year, I presented a paper at the IFE Conference on The Campaign for Wool. Wool is a natural fibre with a 'green' lineage that is both sustainable and biodegradable. However, it also has many other inherent benefits that have historically earned it a good reputation. Wool has a high water and nitrogen content which results in it being naturally flame-retardant. It meets many fire safety requirements without the need for chemical treatments - something that seems to have been forgotten in the quest for new materials.'

To illustrate his point, Sir Ken also talks about the 'Innovation Park' at the building research establishment, and how it has incorporated natural fibres into its new eco buildings. He said: 'Instead of newer synthetic, oil-based products that more readily ignite, assist fire spread and emit toxic gases in the event of fire, the new 'eco' buildings on the Innovation Park help to demonstrate what we seem to have forgotten. Natural fibres like wool are readily usable as an insulation material in roofs or walls. They offer significant advantages in the event of fire, providing added safety to both the occupants and the firefighter'.

For the complete article, see the October edition of FIRE.

Posted October 4.