Fire Testing Explained
Resistance to Fire Testing
Commercial buildings are divided into compartments, each of which should contain a fire for a specified length of time. For example a fire in a hotel room should be contained by the corridor wall, and a fire should not be able to spread to an exit stair. This type of fire performance is called Resistance to Fire. The most common elements in this category are fire doors, but the same applies to walls, service penetrations, garbage chutes, ceilings/floors etc.
Reaction to Fire Testing
This typically applies to finishes but includes particularly, insulation materials. It also applies to household furniture, train seats and so on. The idea is that the material must not ignite or encourage the fire to spread, or generate a lot of smoke. The primary test that we conduct is a US test, ASTM E84 in the Steiner Tunnel test furnace. However we will be adding a range of small scale tests which will be active from the Spring of 2017.
Fire Propagation Testing
This is a test which relates to building facades. In recent decades facade systems have evolved which use flammable or combustible components and tests have evolved to keep them safe. Our testing is conducted in accordance with NFPA 285. In the UAE there is a lot of focus on the use of ACP (aluminium composite panels) which has a core which may or may not contain a fire retardant.