Western Fire Center, Inc. (WFCi) is accredited under the International Accreditation Service (IAS) Acceptance Criteria for Laboratory Accreditation (IAS TL #180). This accreditation encompasses the requirements of ISO/IEC 17025, which gives our clients confidence that we follow the highest standards in testing and quality procedures. Our knowledgeable staff has 30 years of experience in the fire testing and certification business.

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Testing Methods

  • Fire Resistance of Building Materials

    ASTM E119, E814, E1529, UL 263, CAN/ULC S101, ISO 834, NFPA 251, UBC 26-2, UBC 7-1, BS 476
    These standards outline methods of fire tests for the fire-resistive properties of building constructions and materials and through-penetration fire stops of various materials and construction. These fire tests are applicable to assemblies of masonry units and to composite assemblies of structural materials for buildings, including bearing and other walls and partitions, columns, girders, beams, slabs, and composite slab and beam assemblies for floors and roofs. They are also applicable to other assemblies and structural units that constitute permanent integral parts of a finished building.
    These requirements are intended to evaluate the length of time that these types of assemblies will contain a fire or retain their structural integrity, or both, dependent upon the type of assembly involved, during a predetermined time/temperature test exposure. The test evaluates the assembly's resistance to heat, and in some instances to a hose stream, while carrying an applied load, if the assembly is load bearing. The results of these tests are one factor in assessing predicted fire performance of building construction and assemblies.

    Full-Scale Furnaces

    Horizontal Furnace

    This furnace is used to test fire resistance for floor/ceiling assemblies in accordance with test standards (most notably ASTM E119). The furnace is 7 feet deep and with collar can be expanded to test columns. It will accommodate samples up to 14' wide by 18' long. The furnace utilizes multiple unique burners which produce lazy, yellow diffusion flames which generate historical fire resistance data. It is able to do so even when run at positive pressure all the way to the floor if desired.

    Vertical Tests

    This furnace is used to test fire resistance for walls, doors, and window assemblies in accordance with test standards (most notably ASTM E119). A wall section can be mounted, in a vertical orientation, into a steel frame specimen holder. The specimen holder is then rolled up to the furnace and secured by pneumatic rams to the furnace opening. Combustion air and natural gas are supplied to burners through a series of pipes and valves. Internal furnace pressure is controlled by a series of dampers in the exhaust outlets. Temperature measurements are recorded by calibrated data acquisition units which pass the readings to a computer for real-time graphical display and storage. A large roll up door is in the wall opposite the furnace area and allows for the samples to be moved approximately 40' on tracks outdoors to the area designated for hose stream testing.

    Research-Scale Tests

    Horizontal Furnace

    The large-scale horizontal furnace is reduced down to perform mid- (8' by 14') to small-scale (5' by 5') fire resistance assemblies of building constructions and materials. These tests can give added insight into how an assembly can perform on the large-scale. The sample time-temperature curve is followed as in large-scale tests. Examples of certified tests that can be performed with this sample size are AC14 (exposed I-joists) and E814 (penetrations).

    Vertical Furnace

    A separate small-scale furnace is used for research-scale fire resistance testing. The test assembly is mounted onto a steel frame specimen holder and installed onto the furnace vertically. The exposed surface is subjected to the time-temperature curve, with temperature measurements taken on the unexposed surface of the door and frame using thermocouples connected to a computerized data acquisition system. The furnace valves are controlled based upon the average of the interior furnace temperature that is determined from five internal thermocouples.
  • Fire Doors & Windows

    E152, E2010, E2074, NFPA 252, NFPA 257, UBC 7-2, UBC 7-4, UL 10B, UL 10C, UL 9 These fire-test-response standards are applicable to door and window assemblies, including glass block and other light-transmitting assemblies, for use in walls to retard the passage of fire. These standards determine the ability of door and window assemblies to function as a fire-resistive barrier during a standard fire endurance test. They are intended to evaluate the ability of the assembly to remain in an opening during a predetermined test exposure, which, when required, is then followed by the application of a hose stream. Door and window assemblies are tested for fire resistance using the same furnaces as typical building materials.
  • Roof Coverings

    ASTM E108, NFPA 256, UBC 15-2, UL 790 The test standard examines the performance of roof-covering materials when exposed to fire originating from sources outside a building on which the coverings may be installed. It is applicable to roof coverings intended for installation on either combustible or noncombustible decks when the roof coverings are applied as intended. The following test methods are included in this standard: the intermittent flame exposure test, the spread of flame test, the burning brand test, the flying brand test, and the rain test. Three classes of fire test exposure are described in this standard. Class A roofing assemblies are effective against severe fire test exposures. Under such exposures, roofing assemblies of this class are not readily flammable, afford a fairly high degree of fire protection to the roof deck, do not slip from position, and are expected not to produce flying brands. Class B roofing assemblies are held to the same standards as Class A, but are exposed to moderate flame, Class C roofing assemblies are exposed to light flame.
  • Accelerated Weathering

    ASTM D2898, AC 107 These test methods cover the durability of a fire-retardant treatment of wood under exposure to accelerated weathering. It is intended that fire-retardant treatment of the specimen be by pressure impregnation, rather than being simply by a surface coating with or without a protective layer. Two conditioning methods are described, both suitable for application to a test specimen prior to subjecting that specimen to an appropriate fire test. These methods are applicable to treated wood products or assemblies thereof. The test specimens will be in the form of, or suitable for fabrication into, fire test specimens, such as those described in Test Methods E84, E108, and E286.
  • Interior Finishing and Furnishings

    Room, Wall, Ceiling Tests

    ISO 9705, NFPA 265, NFPA 286, UBC 26-3, UBC 8-2, UL 1715 These standards detail test methods to evaluate the burning characteristics and contribution to fire growth of building assemblies when exposed to fire conditions in a standard room configuration. These procedures can test wall or ceiling assemblies of foam plastic, textile materials, or interior finish materials. Either a gas burner or a 30 lb wood crib, excelsior, and ethanol are used as the sources of ignition and burned to test the fire resistance of the wall or ceiling assemblies.


    E1537, E1590, TB 116, TB 117, TB 121, TB 129, TB 133, NFPA 266, NFPA 267, UL 1056, UL 1895 These test methods are used to determine heat release, smoke density, weight loss, generation of carbon monoxide, and other ignition properties of upholstered furniture and mattresses. They determine performance of these samples when exposed to a flaming ignition source. This performance data has been found to be useful in assessing the fire hazard of upholstered furniture and mattresses in public occupancies.
  • Urban-Wildland Interface Testing

    CSFM 12-7A-1, CSFM 12-7A-2, CSFM 12-7A-3, CSFM 12-7A-4 The state of California has recently developed testing standards and code requirements to help protect structures at the urban-wildland interface, which may be threatened by various methods of ignition such as direct flame or brands. These standards expose building sections such as exterior walls, windows, eaves and soffits, and decking materials to fire conditions. Acceptable materials can be qualified for California’s Building Material List. WFCi has been involved in the early development and approval of the standards.