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Fire performance evaluation of materials, products and fire protection equipment

Laboratory evaluation in the area of fire safety applies to materials, components and constructive systems, such as fire protection equipment.

Materials utilized in buildings and other applications (furniture, clothes, machines, vehicles, etc.) are subjected to so-called fire reaction tests, which simulate typical and critical fire conditions, evaluating the response of materials in terms of ignitability, development of heat and smoke, and the flame propagation speed over their surfaces.

Components and constructive systems in civil and marine engineering, and sometimes in railroad engineering, are subjected to fire resistance tests. The objective is to determine their ability to withstand a fully developed fire while preserving compartmental functions, containment of the fire in a given section, and the structural functions for which they were designed.

Fire protection equipment is basically subjected to functionality tests to evaluate its ability to fulfill design functions, and to sensitivity tests to verify impairment of its performance in the conditions to which it is subjected during its service life.