A new test method is the latest in a series of ASTM International standards being developed to address the protection of exterior portions of structures during fires. The new standard, ASTM E2726/E2726M, Test Method for Evaluating the Fire-Test-Response of Deck Structures to Burning Brands, is being developed by Subcommittee E05.14 on External Fire Exposures, part of ASTM International Committee E05 on Fire Standards.
“This standard will assist building code officials, manufacturers and home owners in assessing the fire performance of decking materials,” says Paul Hough, manager of product fire performance, Armstrong World Industries, and an E05 member. The test in ASTM E2726/E2726M simulates a deck exposed to burning embers on the upper horizontal surface.
“Building regulators, especially California state fire marshals, have been looking for this type of standard for several years,” says Hough, who notes that ASTM E2726/E2726M has its origins in a standard that had been included in California regulations.
“ASTM E2726/E2726M is in response to the growing urban wildland fire concern in many states,” says Hough. “Hopefully, this will be one of many new exterior fire exposure standards from E05.14.”
Hough invites all interested parties to join the subcommittee as it continues its work developing standards for other external building assemblies.
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Significance and Use
This test method is intended to establish the test protocol for decking materials and systems. This test method is intended to address a fire caused by exterior sources that involves the upper surface of the deck or structure.
This test is a practical assessment of fire-test-response characteristics under a prescribed fire loading. This test method is a variation of Test Method E108.
1.1 This test method determines the fire-test-response characteristics of deck structures attached to or in close proximity to primary structures. The burning brand exposures test is intended to determine the surface spread of flame and degradation modes of decking materials when exposed to a burning brand on the upper surface of a deck structure.
1.2 The use of paints, coatings, stains, or other surface treatments for fire protection purposes are beyond the scope of this test method. This test method excludes the use of paints, stains, or coatings for this fire-test-response determination.
1.3 The values stated in either SI units or inch-pound units are to be regarded separately as standard. The values stated in each system may not be exact equivalents; therefore, each system shall be used independently of the other. Combining values from the two systems may result in non-conformance with the standard.
1.4 This standard is used to measure and describe the response of materials, products, or assemblies 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.
1.5 Fire testing of products and materials is inherently hazardous. Adequate safeguards for personnel and property shall be employed in conducting these tests.
1.6 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.
burning brands; decking products; spread of flame; upper surface deck fire test;