Flexible polyurethane (PU) foam – reducing fire risks

Manufacturing PU foam is an exothermic reaction so the foaming process needs to be carefully controlled to prevent foam reaching excessive temperatures. The highest temperatures will normally be in the centre of a block.

When manufacturing PU foam you should:

Stacking arrangements

Flexible PU foam waiting processing and shaped materials eg finished cushions should be arranged in stable stacks using pallets or racks where necessary. Rolls of laminated material should be kept in racks. Upholstered furniture may be kept in single units, racks or stable stacks as appropriate.

All materials should be kept in well-defined areas separated by marked gangways and following the guidance on storage.PU foam and work-in-hand incorporating PU foam should be stacked in workrooms following the guidance on positioning stock in storerooms. Materials in workrooms should not be stacked within 1m of any part of a fire exit.

It Is not recommended to keep PU foam or finished products against internal glazing or directly under any elevated working area. Elevated working platforms and galleries are not recommended in PU foam workrooms. Where these exist, PU foam should be kept as far as possible away from them and adequate fire protection and means of escape must be provided.

Updated 2021-11-08