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Firestop Codes & Test Standards

Fire Protection Building Regulations & Codes

Building codes are written for all aspects of construction, including fire protection building regulations. Code bodies place an emphasis on "Approved Methods", defined as a material, device or system tested in accordance to a nationally recognized test standard at a recognized testing facility.

3M™ Fire Protection Products are designed to help prevent to spread of fire, smoke and toxic gas in accordance with current life safety building regulations. Codes are a critical component of the procedures used by Code Officials and Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs) to help ensure that a building will pass any relevant inspections. When a code is adopted by a jurisdiction, it becomes a legal document that regulates the construction of structures and buildings.

Primary Test Standards

North American Building Codes

The primary fire protection building codes used in construction in North America are:

  • The International Building Code (IBC)
  • The International Residential Code (IRC)
  • International Fire Code (IFC)
  • National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
  • Canadian National Building Code (CNBC)

Trade-specific fire protection building codes have also been developed to address fire protection, such as:

  • International Mechanical Code (IMC)
  • International Plumbing Code (IPC)
  • Uniform Mechanical Code (UMC)
  • Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC)

View summaries from select fire protection building codes


International Test Standards

ASTM International is one of the primary organization in the US that develops and publishes voluntary consensus technical standards for materials, products, systems, and services used in fire protection. Other consensus standard writing organizations are UL and NFPA. These consensus standards bodies all must follow the guidelines set forth by ANSI (the Amercian National Standards Institute). In some instances, independent test agencies and other standard-setting bodies have developed standards that have been accepted on national and /or local levels (e.g. CAN/ULC-S115 in Canada, ISO 6944 in the U.S.). Once a test standard has been established, the manufacturer enlists an independent third-party test agency to ensure their product is used within a system that meets the relevant test standard criteria.

For example, to meet the ASTM E 814 standard of a floor/ceiling assembly, all parts of the assembly, including through penetration firestopping products, must meet the established standards for containing a fire within the established test duration. Independent, third-party test agencies such as UL, ULC, FM or Intertek help ensure that products are tested in a fire-rated system in accordance to the relevant standard(s).

A fire test is a means of determining whether or not fire protection products meet minimum performance criteria as set out in a building code or other applicable legislation. It is extremely important to remember that because of the complexities of designs and test parameters only fully tested materials and systems should be used in actual building construction.


Frequently Used Product Category Standards

Standards for Through Penetrations

ASTM E 84 (UL 723) "Standard Test Method for Surface Burning Characteristics of Building Materials"
ASTM E 119 (UL 263) "Standard Test Methods for Fire Tests of Building Construction and Materials"
ASTM E 814 (UL 1479)"Standard Test Method for Fire Tests of Penetration Firestop Systems"
CAN/ULC-S115 "Standard Method of Fire Tests of Firestop Systems"

Standards for Construction Joints

ASTM E 1966 (UL 2079) "Standard Test Method for Fire Resistive Joint Systems"
ASTM E 2307 "Standard Test Method for Determining Fire Resistance of Perimeter Fire Barrier Systems Using Intermediate-Scale, Multi-story Test Apparatus"
ASTM E 2837 "Test Method for Determining the Fire Resistance of Continuity Head-of-Wall Joint Systems Installed Between Rated Wall Assemblies and Nonrated Horizontal Assemblies"

Standards for Grease Ducts and Ventilation Air Ducts

ISO 6944 "Fire Resistance Tests – Ventilation Ducts"
ASTM E 2336 "Standard Test Methods for Fire Resistive Grease Duct Enclosure Systems"
ASTM E 814 (UL 1479) "Standard Test Method for Fire Tests of Penetration Firestop Systems"
ASTM E 2816 "Standard Test Methods for Fire Resistive Metallic HVAC Duct Systems"

ASTM Standards for Structural Steel

ASTM E 119 (UL 263) "Standard Test Methods for Fire Tests of Building Construction and Materials"
ASTM E 1529(UL 1709) "Determining Effects of Large Hydrocarbon Pool Fires on Structural Members and Assemblies"

ASTM Standards for Electrical Circuitry Protection

ASTM E 1725 "Fire Tests of Fire-Resistive Barrier Systems for Electrical Circuit Components"
UL 1724 "Outline Of Investigation for Fire Tests For Electrical Circuit Protective Systems"
IEEE P848 "IEEE Standard Procedure for the Determination of the Ampacity Derating Factor for Fire-Protected Cable Systems"



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