Is Cellulose Insulation Flammable? Discover the Surprising Truth

Is Cellulose Insulation Flammable?

When it comes to insulating your home, safety is always a top priority. One common type of insulation is cellulose. But is cellulose insulation flammable?

The short answer is no, cellulose insulation is not flammable. It is treated with fire retardants to make it resistant to fire.

Why is Cellulose Insulation Fire Resistant?

Cellulose insulation is primarily made from recycled paper products, which are treated with fire retardant chemicals during the manufacturing process. These chemicals help to reduce the flammability of the cellulose fibers.

The fire retardants used in cellulose insulation are typically borates or ammonium sulfate. These chemicals provide a high level of fire resistance by slowing down the combustion process, making it much more difficult for a fire to spread through the insulation.

Is Cellulose Insulation Flammable? Discover the Surprising Truth


Fire Safety Standards for Cellulose Insulation

Cellulose insulation is subject to rigorous testing to ensure its fire safety. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has set standards for the fire resistance and flame spread of cellulose insulation.

According to the NFPA 286 test, cellulose insulation must meet specific criteria for flame spread and smoke development. This test evaluates the insulation’s performance when exposed to a simulated fire.

The test measures the time it takes for flames to spread across the insulation’s surface, as well as the amount of smoke released. Cellulose insulation that meets the NFPA’s standards for flame spread and smoke development is considered safe for use in residential and commercial applications.

Additional Benefits of Cellulose Insulation

Aside from its fire resistance, cellulose insulation offers several other benefits:

  • Energy Efficiency: Cellulose insulation has a higher R-value per inch compared to other insulation materials, making it more energy-efficient.
  • No Formaldehyde: Unlike some other insulation types, cellulose insulation does not contain formaldehyde, a chemical that can off-gas harmful fumes.
  • Soundproofing: Cellulose insulation can help reduce noise transmission, making it a great choice for soundproofing your home.
  • Environmentally Friendly: Cellulose insulation is made from recycled materials, making it an eco-friendly option for insulation.

Installation and Safety Precautions

While cellulose insulation is generally safe, proper installation and adherence to safety guidelines are essential. Here are some precautions to keep in mind:

  1. Ensure the insulation is installed according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  2. Seal any gaps or openings in the insulation to prevent air leaks and maintain its fire resistance.
  3. Avoid contact with electrical wiring or fixtures when installing cellulose insulation.
  4. Keep the insulation away from recessed lighting fixtures unless they are rated for insulation contact.
  5. Wear protective gear, such as gloves and a mask, when handling cellulose insulation.

By following these safety precautions, you can ensure the safe and effective installation of cellulose insulation in your home.

Is Cellulose Insulation Flammable? Discover the Surprising Truth


Frequently Asked Questions On Is Cellulose Insulation Flammable? Discover The Surprising Truth

Is Cellulose Insulation Flammable?

Cellulose insulation is treated with fire retardants, making it resistant to flames. It is considered a safe option for insulating homes.

How Does Cellulose Insulation Prevent Fire?

Cellulose insulation contains fire retardants, which reduce the spread of flames and inhibit the ignition of the material.

Can Cellulose Insulation Catch Fire?

While cellulose insulation is not completely fireproof, it is designed to resist burning and will char instead of igniting during a fire.

What Are The Fire Safety Features Of Cellulose Insulation?

Cellulose insulation has a high ignition temperature, low flame spread, and it produces less smoke compared to other insulation materials.


Cellulose insulation is not flammable and offers excellent fire resistance when properly installed. It is a safe and eco-friendly choice for insulating your home.

Remember to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and take necessary safety precautions during installation to maximize the benefits of cellulose insulation.

Updated: January 2, 2024 — 3:14 pm