Carbon nanotube-based poly(methyl methacrylate) and polyamide-6 nanocomposites have been investigated using various techniques within the framework of the NANOFEU project. Scanning transmission electron microscopy was used to characterize morphologies of composites, while fire properties were studied using cone calorimeter and pyrolysis combustion flow microcalorimeter. The study focused particularly on composition and microstructure of gaseous and aerosol products. Morphology of ultrafine particles released from the combustion of nanocomposites was studied using cascade impactor and atomic force microscopy. Fire behaviour has been interpreted in relation with the degradation mechanisms specifically induced by the presence of carbon nanotubes. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.