The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is an international non-profit organisation that develops, publishes and disseminates fire risk consensus codes and standards. The NFPA 274 Standard Test Method is a full-scale test that uses large samples to simulate how insulated pipes in a confined vertical configuration may behave during a growing fire situation. It may be a more realistic assessment as it reflects the actual installation configuration.
What is the NFPA 274 test?
The setup: A three-sided ‘L-shaped’ channel consisting of a horizontal segment attached to a vertical segment contains three insulated pipes which are laterally spaced inside the channel.
The procedure: A small growing fire which escalates is placed underneath the pipes and the fire performance is observed. The test runs for 10 minutes.
The result: To pass this standard, the following requirements must be met:
- Peak heat release rate ≤ 300kW
- Total heat release ≤ 83MJ
- Total smoke release ≤ 500m2
- Extent of flame above pipe chase ≤ 0.3
What does this mean for my project?
Results from this test standard allows users to have a more realistic assessment of the technical performance of a material. This is because the vertical orientation of the test material simulates the most severe conditions for measuring fire performance and, the location of the fire source is able to expose any weaknesses in more highly flammable materials.
Passing the NFPA 274 Standard Test Method informs the user that the product is “fit for purpose” and users can trust that the product will enhance the overall safety for building occupants.
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