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External Fire Exposure Tests -- Subject of New ASTM International Subcommittee

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Each year, over 1,000 structures are lost to wildfires in the state of California alone. A new ASTM subcommittee, E05.14 on External Fire Exposure Tests, is now developing standards designed to reduce the structural damage due to wildfires in California and throughout the United States. The new subcommittee is under the jurisdiction of ASTM International Committee E05 on Fire Standards.

The scope of the new subcommittee is to develop and maintain standards to evaluate the responses of materials, components, and assemblies of buildings and structures to external fire exposures, including those caused by wildland fires. Seven task groups are being formed within the subcommittee to cover exterior walls, windows, roofs, eaves, decks, vents, and plants.

According to Frank C. Beall, professor, College of Natural Resources, University of California, Berkeley, the goal of the subcommittee is "to develop performance standards that can be widely used by manufacturers and accepted throughout the U.S. to reduce the loss of structures to wildfire." The subcommittee is not restricted to just wildfire exposure, however, and the fire performance of roofing assemblies typically evaluated by ASTM E 108, Test Methods for Fire Tests of Roof Coverings, will also be part of its work.

Subcommittee E05.14 invites all interested parties to participate in its standards activities. Beall says that the subcommittee is looking for participation from people with a wide range of interests from members of the fire research community, builders, code officials, architects, engineers, associations and manufacturers.

For further technical information, contact Frank Beall, University of California, Berkeley, Richmond, Calif. (phone: 510/665-3536; Committee E05 will meet Dec. 4-5, at the December Committee Week in Dallas, Texas. For membership or meeting details, contact Thomas O’Toole, ASTM International (phone: 610/832-9739;


Release #7227