How do companies prove that they are sourcing durable materials that have adequate protection against fire risk?

A standard called ASTM E119 provides instructions for ratings and criteria for the fire resistance of various building materials. It guides the work of professional contractors (along with other project stakeholders) in constructing interior spaces.

ICC NTA is active in promoting and building a knowledge base around these standards and the best ways to ensure compliance with ASTM E119 and other standards that apply.


What is ASTM E119?

ASTM E119 and Fire Resistance Standards
Large Scale Vertical Furnace

ASTM E119 contemplates fire test response criteria which is essential for fire safety. Testing per ASTM E119 establishes the duration for which a specific material or installation can contain a fire. This information helps to show insurance carriers, contractors, and other parties what might reasonably be expected in the event of a fire emergency.


Code Required Minimum Fire Resistance Standards

In order to establish an assembly fire-resistance rating, professionals use what is called a time-temperature curve. Assemblies are then designated as “one hour” or “two hours,” for example, as a measure of their fire resistance over time.


Fire-Resistant Floor, Ceiling, and Wall Assemblies

Rather than assessing individual components, ASTM E119 evaluates entire assemblies, hence the term. “fire-rated floor and ceiling assemblies” or “fire-rated wall assemblies.” In this way, ASTM E119 compliance takes a holistic perspective on how things are built and how well their fire-resistant nature protects the integrity of the building.


Fire Endurance Testing

In a fire endurance and structural integrity test, planners will subject assemblies to fire in order to understand their reactions to flame and temperature better. Professionals talk about “assessment of fire resistance” and the review of load-bearing structures as elements of this type of fire and structural testing. The results help to rate the fire-resistance of assemblies and help specifiers provide directives to contractors in what to use and how to construct indoor spaces. All of this code-required work helps promote safety and a higher standard of building.


At ICC NTA, we are dedicated to helping others to adhere to the best practices around ASTM E119 and related guidance to make sure that the building is constructed correctly. Ensuring quality and safety is more than just a casual priority: it goes right to the heart of how our company operates. Please take a look and ask us any questions about setting a high bar in the construction industry.

Learn more about ICC NTA’s Fire Testing Capabilities or contact us to get in touch with an expert.