Action News puts Fire Armor 55 to the test

August 24, 2011

Fire Armor 55 makers claim it is revolutionary and life-saving. But does it work?

Fire Armor 55 is designed to stop a fire in its tracks.

"The 55 indicates the 5500 degrees it's been tested at," said James McCloskey.

The company says its product can be applied to pipes, walls, and all kinds of materials, and to both new and existing construction.

It also claims it is dramatically effective and environmentally friendly.

But Action News wanted to see for ourselves, and so did the Lower Merion Fire Department.

"Especially with the lightweight construction that's being built today, our firefighters are dying in those kinds of buildings," said Lower Merion Fire Chief Chas McGarvey.

Fire Armor 55 was applied to one side of a room, coating the right side, and the other side was left untreated.

"That room is going to all but collapse. The other building is still going to be there," said McCloskey.

Fire Armor 55 was also applied to a paper towel. The paper towel is intact, and there were similar results with a pipe coated with Fire Armor 55.

"The wires aren't even hot, the integrity's still good," Randy Farrar; unlike the melted wires of the untreated pipe.

Fire Marshall Matt Maguire displayed the Treated room first.

"It's completely cool to the touch, and this one, you can see, the flames are coming out of the bottom and the smoke is coming out of the top," said Maguire.

Time lapse video shows thick, black smoke and embers pouring out of the untreated room on the left, and the ceiling and smoke stack of the uncoated room fall within minutes.

"If that was a real house, it would be expanding into the attic at this point, and at that point, the fire department would back away, and the house would be a total loss," Maguire said. Whereas when we see the box on the right, the one that's been treated with fire retardant, that has kept the fire in check."

Chief Chas McGarvey says that while nothing should replace a sprinkler system, he'd like to see builders use Fire Armor 55.

"It could mean the difference between life and death of our firefighters and the people inside," said Chief McGarvey. "I'm definitely impressed with the product."

Fire Armor 55 is only sold online, but its makers hope it catches on.

"It is extremely cost-effective, we're looking at about $1.50 a square foot in terms of applying this," said McCloskey.

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