Fire & Flammablity Testing

Specific Test List

NFPA 101 LIFE SAFETY CODE FIRE TESTSDownload PDFDownload

The individual tests listed below each have their own peculiarity in terms of sample size and product configuration.

This listing is offered as a ready reference to indicate which tests are required for each particular category.

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PRODUCT CATEGORY STANDARD NUMBER BRIEF DESCRIPTION
Carpeting ASTM D 2859 This is the minimum test that applies to all area and carpet rugs.
ASTM E 648 Certain areas of carpeting and other floor covering materials are categorized as interior floor finish, which mandates the use of this test.
Cellular or Foam Plastics Used as Interior Finish NFPA 286 This test applies even if sprinklers are present. It primarily assesses the heat release of the material.
Drapery NFPA 701 This test applies to draperies and similar hanging products. The standard contains two procedures: T est Method 1 and T est Method 2. The selection of either 1 or 2 is dependent on the content and configuration of the drapery.
Furniture Made From Foam Plastics NFPA 289 The code specifically addresses furniture made with foam plastics. It would seem that this test would be appropriate for any plastic furniture or any furnishings that come under the suspicion of releasing excessive heat when burning.
Mattresses CFR 1632 This is the minimum federal standard that measures the cigarette ignition resistance of mattresses.
ASTM E 1590 All mattresses must comply with the federal open-flame test, CFR 1633. The primary acceptance category pertains to heat release, which should not exceed 200 kW.
ASTM E 1590, as per the building code, is in addition to and not in lieu of CFR 1633
It should be noted that the maximum heat permitted during this test is 100 kW, i.e. it is more severe than the federal test.
Trash Containers (20 Gallons or More) ASTM E 1354 This measures the heat release properties of trash containers.
Upholstered Furniture NFPA 260 This test is to measure individual components contained in the upholstered furniture.
NFPA 261 This is similar to NFPA 260, except that the actual components are combined to make a mockup of the upholstered furniture.
ASTM E 1537 This is a full scale fire test of the actual upholstered furniture item. It primarily assesses heat release.
Wallcoverings (Interior Finish) ASTM E 84 This test measures flame spread and smoke developed. It usually applies if the area is sprinklered.
NFPA 265 This applies to textile and expanded vinyl wallcoverings used in non sprinklered areas. It assesses the heat release properties of materials.
NFPA 286 This applies to all other wallcoverings (i.e.: leather, cork, etc.) used in non sprinklered areas. It assesses the heat release properties of materials.

Discussion

The NFPA 101 document is published by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

While it is designated as a building code, it does contain many provisions that relate to the flammability of Interior Finishes and Furnishings.

A sister document is published under NFPA 5000 as the Building Construction and Safety Code. It contains many of the same fire test standards that are found in NFPA 101.

The other prominent building code is The International Building Code with its companion document, The International Fire Code.

Many local jurisdictions adopt these codes by reference or extract provisions and rewrite them into the actual local codes.

The tests that are listed herein are a ready reference as to what might be required.