In Focus

ASTM Fire Resources

A Compilation, STP and Training Courses Provide Technical Information

Fire professionals have ready resources with a new compilation of fire standards and technical information, a new Special Technical Publication about uncertainty in fire standards and flammability-related training courses from ASTM International.

Fire Compilation

The new, eighth edition of ASTM Fire Standards and Related Technical Material includes almost 300 standards used in fire safety and fire testing. More than 80 percent of the work is revised, compared to the content of the seventh edition. Of particular interest is E84, Test Method for Surface Burning Characteristics of Building Materials, which includes several additional mounting practices for different materials and products. Marcelo Hirschler, Ph.D., GBH International, Mill Valley, Calif., a longtime ASTM and Committee E05 on Fire Standards member, says that two additional revised test methods in the compilation are also particularly significant: E119, Test Methods for Fire Tests of Building Construction and Materials, which is the essential fire test for obtaining fire resistance ratings for building elements in construction and civil engineering projects, and E1354, Test Method for Heat and Visible Smoke Release Rates for Materials and Products Using an Oxygen Consumption Calorimeter, which is the most modern fire test method for assessing materials and products in terms of their reaction to fire performance. New test methods, specifications and practices issued by a number of ASTM committees — in addition to those of Committee E05 — also appear in the compilation.

STP 1541

Professionals involved in fire safety performance assessment should benefit from the contents of STP 1541, Uncertainty in Fire Standards and What to Do About It, which includes 11 papers from practitioners on including uncertainty in the use of fire safety test results. “The papers collected here are the ones on the cutting edge, including new, useful information that no one has seen anywhere else. The value is often seeing the information all together and how it fits together,” says John R. Hall Jr., Ph.D., division director of fire analysis and research for the National Fire Protection Association in Quincy, Mass., and guest editor of the book. The papers examine the larger implications of different approaches and review some of the newest methods and approaches to addressing uncertainty. Hall says that the contents of STP 1541 may help an ASTM member when casting a vote on a proposed new E05 standard, submit evidence for a laboratory certification review or weigh in on a fire safety issue.

Training Courses

ASTM International fire test-related training courses offer standards-related education to provide additional information to participants. Courses on the flammability of apparel and children’s sleepwear address liability and legal requirements, product classification and compliance. Another course covers open flame and smoldering fire tests for upholstered furniture, mattresses and bedding sold in the United States. And yet another reviews the principles and observations supporting oxygen system fire hazards as well as how to identify and locate relevant test data to analyze oxygen system ignition and damage potential.

This article appears in the issue of Standardization News.