ASTM E800 - 07

    Standard Guide for Measurement of Gases Present or Generated During Fires

    Active Standard ASTM E800 | Developed by Subcommittee: E05.21

    Book of Standards Volume: 04.07


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    Significance and Use

    Because of the loss of life in fires from inhalation of fire gases, much attention has been focused on the analyses of these species. Analysis has involved several new or modified methods, since common analytical techniques have often proven to be inappropriate for the combinations of various gases and low concentrations existing in fire gas mixtures.

    In the measurement of fire gases, it is imperative to use procedures that are both reliable and appropriate to the unique atmosphere of a given fire environment. To maximize the reliability of test results, it is essential to establish the following:

    4.2.1 That gaseous samples are representative of the compositions existing at the point of sampling,

    4.2.2 That transfer and pretreatment of samples occur without loss, or with known efficiency, and

    4.2.3 That data provided by the analytical instruments are accurate for the compositions and concentrations at the point of sampling.

    This document includes a comprehensive survey that will permit an individual, technically skilled and practiced in the study of analytical chemistry, to select a suitable technique from among the alternatives. It will not provide enough information for the setup and use of a procedure (this information is available in the references).

    Data generated by the use of techniques cited in this document should not be used to rank materials for regulatory purposes.

    1. Scope

    1.1 Analytical methods for the measurement of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, oxygen, nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, carbonyl sulfide, hydrogen halides, hydrogen cyanide, aldehydes, and hydrocarbons are described, along with sampling considerations. Many of these gases may be present in any fire environment. Several analytical techniques are described for each gaseous species, together with advantages and disadvantages of each. The test environment, sampling constraints, analytical range, and accuracy often dictate use of one analytical method over another.

    1.2 These techniques have been used to measure gases under fire test conditions (laboratory, small scale, or full scale). With proper sampling considerations, any of these methods could be used for measurement in most fire environments.

    1.3 This document is intended to be a guide for investigators and for subcommittee use in developing standard test methods. A single analytical technique has not been recommended for any chemical species unless that technique is the only one available.

    1.4 The techniques described herein determine the concentration of a specific gas in the total sample taken. These techniques do not determine the total amount of fire gases that would be generated by a specimen during conduct of a fire test.

    1.5 This standard is used to measure and describe the response of materials, products, or assembles to heat and flame under controlled conditions but does not by itself incorporate all factors required for fire hazard or fire risk assessment of the materials, products, or assemblies under actual fire conditions

    This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    D123 Terminology Relating to Textiles

    D1356 Terminology Relating to Sampling and Analysis of Atmospheres

    D2036 Test Methods for Cyanides in Water

    D3612 Test Method for Analysis of Gases Dissolved in Electrical Insulating Oil by Gas Chromatography

    D6696 Guide for Understanding Cyanide Species

    D6888 Test Method for Available Cyanide with Ligand Displacement and Flow Injection Analysis (FIA) Utilizing Gas Diffusion Separation and Amperometric Detection

    D7295 Practice for Sampling and Determination of Hydrogen Cyanide (HCN) in Combustion Effluents and Other Stationary Sources

    E84 Test Method for Surface Burning Characteristics of Building Materials

    E176 Terminology of Fire Standards

    E535 Practice for Preparation of Fire-Test-Response Standards

    E603 Guide for Room Fire Experiments

    E662 Test Method for Specific Optical Density of Smoke Generated by Solid Materials


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 13.220.01 (General standards related to fire protection)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 46190000(Fire protection)


    DOI: 10.1520/E0800-07

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