Housing Authority to Review Roofing Practices Following Fire Skip to content

Housing Authority to Review Roofing Practices Following Fire

By Andie Sophia Fontaine

fire firefighters Reykjavík
Photo: Golli. A fire on Grettisgata in Reykjavík, 2016.

In light of fires that have recently started during the use of roof underlayments, the Housing and Construction Authority (HMS) has assembled a group of experts to devise new guidelines for how these materials are used, a statement from HMS says.

Kringlan fire

As reported, the roof of the Kringlan shopping centre caught fire last Saturday. Firefighters were quick to respond and extinguish the blaze, and while smoke and water damage was extensive, Kringlan did re-open last Thursday.

The blaze appears to have been sparked during the laying down of rubberised asphalt, a type of roof underlayment common in construction. Similar to tar paper, it is used for waterproofing the roof of a structure and involves the use of fire in order to make it adhere properly. While effective in waterproofing, if not handled properly it can cause the kinds of fires seen at Kringlan and elsewhere.

New working group assembled

In the hopes of preventing this kind of accident from happening again, HMS says that they have assembled a new working group of experts–firefighters, fire prevention specialists, and others–to come up with new guidelines for the use of this material. In addition, HMS says that educational materials will also be put together for construction workers in order to ensure everyone learns these new practices.

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