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Fire Standard addresses protection of exterior wall assemblies.

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October 9, 2009 - Recommendations from the California Office of the State Fire Marshall and International Wildland-Urban Interface Code have led to development and approval of ASTM International standard regarding enhancement of exterior fire protection of structures in wildland fire. ASTM E2707, Test Method for Determining Fire Penetration of Exterior Wall Assemblies Using a Direct Flame Impingement Exposure was designed to closely follow test procedure of California SFM Method 12-7a-1.

New ASTM Fire Standard Addresses Protection of Exterior Wall Assemblies During Fires


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ASTM International
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Press release date: October 7, 2009

W. CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa., October 7, 2009-Recommendations from the California Office of the State Fire Marshall and the International Wildland-Urban Interface Code have led to the development and approval of a new ASTM International standard regarding the enhancement of exterior fire protection of structures in a wildland fire.

The new standard, ASTM E2707, Test Method for Determining Fire Penetration of Exterior Wall Assemblies Using a Direct Flame Impingement Exposure, is the first new standard developed by Subcommittee E05.14 on External Fire Exposures, part of ASTM International Committee E05 on Fire Standards.

According to Howard Stacy, vice president and director of testing services, Western Fire Center Inc., recommendations from the California Office of the State Fire Marshall established performance criteria for a variety of materials to be used on exterior buildings, structures and detached accessory structures. ASTM E2707 was designed to closely follow the test procedure of California SFM Method 12-7a-1.

ASTM E2707 is intended to address one component of an exterior wildfire exposure, that is, exterior walls exposed to direct flame impingement.

"The purpose of this standard is to provide a definitive set of procedures for the evaluation and measurement of the resistance to fire penetration of exterior wall structures," says Stacy. "The test is a practical attempt to simulate a case in which flammable materials - such as plants, trash, a deck or a shed, that might be adjacent to a building - are ignited. The test method provides data suitable for comparing the performance of vertically oriented materials, products or assemblies in exterior construction applications."

Users of the new standard will include product manufacturers in response to regulatory requirements and testing agencies. Stacy notes that the measurement science involved with the quantification of wildland fire exposures of structures and understanding the mechanism ignition leading to the loss of a structure is in the early stages of development.

"This test method as it stands is intended as a starting point, and only measures the response to one type of ignition scenario - direct flame impingement," says Stacy. "Refinements to the standard are being studied, including the addition of methodologies for the measurement of the impact of radiant heating coupled with direct flame impingement, the effect of ember exposure and heat release of the wall structure corresponding to potential spread of flame."

A new task group within E05.14 has embarked on a quantification of exterior fire exposures (WK25760, Guide for Quantification of Fire Exposures), which will lead to the development of potential guides and practices for fire exposure metrics usable for the development of improved standards covering both urban and wildland environments. "Input from knowledgeable parties, including those with scientific, regulatory and fire service experience, would be valuable in the task group," says Stacy.

In addition to these activities there are currently two proposed new standards under the jurisdiction of Subcommittee E05.14 on the E05 Main Committee ballot: WK12052, Test Method for Evaluating the Under-Deck Fire Test Response of Deck Structures, and WK14401, Test Method for Evaluating the Fire Test Response of Deck Structures to Burning Brands.

New activities recently started under E05.14 include: WK21343, Test Method for Evaluating the Ability of Vents to Resist Entry of Embers and Flame Impingement; WK23700, Test Method for Evaluating Roof Field Vent Response to Wind Blown Flame and Burning Ember Exposure; and WK25760, Guide for Quantification of Fire Exposures.

ASTM International standards can be purchased from Customer Service (phone: 610-832-9585; service@astm.org) or at www.astm.org.

For technical information, contact Howard Stacy, Western Fire Center Inc., Kelso, Wash. (phone: 360-423-1400; howard@westernfire.com). Committee E05 will meet Dec 6-9 during December committee week in Atlanta, Ga. All E05.14 task groups will meet on Dec. 8.

ASTM International welcomes and encourages participation in the development of its standards. ASTM's open consensus process, using advance Internet-based standards development tools, ensures worldwide access for all interested individuals. For more information on becoming an ASTM member, please contact Thomas O'Toole, ASTM International (phone: 610-832-9739; totoole@astm.org).

Established in 1898, ASTM International is one of the largest international standards development and delivery systems in the world. ASTM International meets the World Trade Organization (WTO) principles for the development of international standards: coherence, consensus, development dimension, effectiveness, impartiality, openness, relevance and transparency. ASTM standards are accepted and used in research and development, product testing, quality systems and commercial transactions around the globe.

CONTACT: Barbara Schindler, ASTM International
Phone: 610-832-9603; bschindl@astm.org, www.astm.org
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