Thermal protection of adjacent equipment such as chemical storage tanks is very important when a fire accident occurs. In this paper, a new intumescent insulation emergency material, potassium polyacrylate & organically modified hectorite & intumescent flame retardant (PPHI), was prepared successfully. The material was characterized by Fourier Transform Infra-Red (FTIR) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy(XPS). Thermal insulation performance and thermal stability of the material were studied by cone calorimeter, fire resistance test, scanning electron microscope and energy dispersive spectroscopy (SEM/EDS), and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), respectively. The results showed that thermal insulation performance of PPHI was the best when the addition content of intumescent flame retardant (IFR) reached 0.54 wt%. The morphology and structures by SEM gave positive evidence that char layers formed from the PPHI composites were improved greatly due to the addition of intumescent flame retardant. Finally, a possible thermal insulation mechanism of PPHI was presented.