NFPA 286 Standard Methods of Fire Tests for Evaluating Contribution of Wall and Ceiling Interior Finish to Room Fire Growth Date: ​ February 03, 2023

Applicable Products:
NFPA 286 applies to interior wall and ceiling finishes that are intended to be installed in buildings that are regulated by codes or standards related to fire safety. These include, but are not limited to, products such as:

Regulatory Requirements:
NFPA 286 is widely recognized and referenced in building codes and regulations, including the International Building Code (IBC) and the National Fire Protection Association's (NFPA) Life Safety Code.

Many state and local building codes in the United States also reference NFPA 286, and some jurisdictions require compliance with the standard for certain occupancies or fire hazard classifications. For example, in California, the state building code requires compliance with NFPA 286 for interior finishes in Group I-2 and I-3 occupancies, which include hospitals, nursing homes, and correctional facilities.

And even if NFPA 286 is not specifically required by regulations in a particular jurisdiction, compliance with the standard may be necessary in order to meet the general requirements of the building code or to ensure adequate fire safety in a building. 

Test Methods:
NFPA 286 uses a full-scale room fire test to evaluate the fire performance of interior finishes. The test involves constructing a test room that is representative of a typical building interior and installing the finish material on the walls and/or ceiling of the room. The test is designed to evaluate the contribution of the finish material to room fire growth, which includes heat release, smoke production, and flame spread.

During the test, a fire is ignited in a corner of the room, and the fire growth and spread are monitored and measured. The heat release rate, smoke production rate, and flame spread are all measured using specialized equipment and instrumentation. The test is conducted under controlled conditions, and a range of parameters are specified in the standard, including the size of the room, the fuel load, and the ignition source.

The results of the test are then used to evaluate the performance of the finish material and to determine whether it meets the requirements of the standard. The standard includes criteria for maximum heat release rate, maximum smoke production rate, and maximum flame spread, as well as other performance measures.

Specific Requirements:
NFPA 286 specifies a range of requirements for the fire performance of facing materials used as interior wall and ceiling finishes. These requirements are based on the results of a full-scale room fire test and are intended to ensure that the facing materials meet minimum fire safety requirements and do not contribute significantly to the spread of fire. Some of the specific requirements for facing materials in NFPA 286 include:

The ICTT fire test laboratory has the IAS internationally recognized qualification of NFPA 286 standard, has a professional technical team, complete equipment and instruments, and is dedicated to providing you with efficient fire and flame retardant test services for building materials.

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