Mon, 6th July, 2009 - Posted by
When it comes to redecorating, the DIY enthusiast or interior designer is usually far more concerned with aesthetic appeal than anything else. Creating the right look for a home is key, as it is where most people will spend much of their time relaxing and entertaining guests.
However, it is surprisingly easy to ruin interior décor with experimental wallpapers and overly bold colours. Nevertheless, before popping down to the local DIY store for a few tins of ‘safety first’ magnolia, it is worth sparing a thought for actual safety.
Little thought is usually given to the chemical composition of paints, but paint is a highly flammable substance and, in the unfortunate event of a fire at home, flames can spread rapidly from room to room through it. Almost 300 people a year die in the UK as a result of accidental house fires, of which there are around 45,000 annually. Thus, it is worth considering what steps can be taken to improve fire safety in the home.
Obviously it is important to install smoke detectors throughout the house, but it may also be worth investing in intumescent or fire retardant paint. Whilst fire retardant paint is a low-cost solution to intumescent paint, if the fire is continuous it will not prevent its spread. Intumescent paint, on the other hand, is typically applied to the room-facing side of a door or surface and adds vital minutes to the time it takes the substrate to burn because, as heat is applied to the paint, its decorative coat expands up to fifty times to form a layer of carbonaceous char. This insulates the structure from the fire for a certain duration, which may be long enough to save lives.