Fire Testing

The Fire Solutions Group (FSG) is focused on providing the expertise to suit your fire testing needs. Weather it be product approval testing, fire performance test, forensic, bench scale or large scale testing the FSG has the manpower and access to state of the art fire facilities to meet your needs.

FRA personnel have navigated Factory Mutual (FM) approvals, Intertek (ETL), and Underwriter Laboratory (UL) listings for both detection and suppression equipment as well as European and Australian certifications. Our engineers have contributed during the product development stages and can assist with IP issues and product design changes.

FSG forensic investigators can design and run fire testing for litigation purposes. Staff includes ex-ATF and professional engineers with courtroom experience. FSG will also supply fire modeling and engineering support for the case.

FSG engineers have conducted numerous performance-based tests, designing test series from the ground up. Fire testing has included firefighter manual operations, agent extinguishing capabilities, smoke detector performance, and construction assemblies with fire sizes ranging from smoldering to 20MW pool fires.

Our team of Professional Fire Protection Engineers is ready to serve you.

Example Projects

Open Head Nozzle (IFI)

Provided design and development assistance with a rotor based open head nozzle. The nozzle provides better water distribution and coverage that the standard deflector plate nozzles. The nozzles obtained a FM approval. Since development, the nozzles have been used in NFPA 15 system to protect large transformers, train depots, diesel generators and LNG spheres.

Oval and FireIce Extinguishers

Provided guidance as an authorized agent to UL assisting both Oval and Geltech solutions in obtaining a UL listing for their fire extinguishers. UL 711 testing protocol was followed to obtain the Class A listing for the FireIce extinguisher and Class A, B, and C listing for the Oval extinguisher.

Altitude Testing of Hybrid NFPA 770 system

Was a member of the team that conducted altitude test of a hybrid (water mist and nitrogen gas) NFPA 770 system. The purpose of the test series was to determine design curves for agent requirements at various altitudes, hold times based on leakage area, and suppression times based on fire size. A portable lab was configured with the suppression system, thermocouples, oxygen sensors, humidity sensors, pressure transducers, mass loss, water flow and nitrogen gas flow. The portable lab was they shipped to Leadville, CO (alt. 10,000 ft.), Colorado Springs, CO (alt. 6,000 ft.) and Rockville, MD (alt. 500 ft.) for comparative testing.

Transformer Oil and Rock Fire Testing

This two part test series evaluated four transformer oils for their fire properties then evaluated rock as a flame arrestor in the vertical and horizontal orientation. The transformer oil testing utilized bench scale testing for flash and flame point properties, the cone calorimeter for heat of combustion, and medium size pan fires for oil temperature monitoring and auto ignition demonstration.

Custom apparatus were built to test rock in the vertical and horizontal orientations. Various sizes of rock were tested to determine the conditions under which flame would not pass through the flame arrestor in the two orientations.

Smoke and Fire Detection Comparative Testing

Conducted a series of tests to determine the detection capabilities of various detection technologies in a large volume space. Technologies tested included spot ion detectors, spot photoelectric detectors, beam detectors, air aspiration detection, linear heat detectors, and video image flame and smoke detection. The test varied the placement, source and obstructions within the space to challenge all technologies tested.

SigniFire IP camera development project

Was a member of a small team to develop the first commercially available video image smoke and flame detection camera. The IP camera became FM and UL approved and was the only device to obtain both a smoke detector listing as well as an optical flame detector listing.

CPVC UL Testing

FSG was asked to evaluate the performance of CPVC piping in a concealed space with open joist. A high rise of wood construction under going renovations had specified the use of CPVC pipe in the confined space located above residential condos on each floor. The use of CPVC prevented the complete removal of the ceiling allowing the installer to cut holes and feed the CVPV and sprinkler heads into the concealed space. Upon opening the ceiling space it was noted that the joist were not filled as required by the sprinkler listing when used with CPVC piping. With the fire modeling completed the open joist fire scenario was tested at a certified fire testing lab to the concealed space standard for fire sprinklers. The testing showed the CPVC piping would survive allowing the sprinklers to active and suppress the fire. The FSG was able to save the client over $900,000 in renovation costs by preventing the removal of the ceiling.

FSG Team members have been involved in bringing products from the drawing board to the market in the fire industry. We know and understand the process and help our clients navigate hurdles in a timely manner. Our testing includes application specific testing to identify a market for the product, testing to identify beneficial design changes, and of course standardized testing to receive a product approval. Specifically FRA have been involved in the approval of smoke detectors, suppression system nozzles, extinguishers, extinguishing systems and construction assemblies and materials. But our capabilities do not stop there, our team can also assist with beta site testing to put your product is real world applications while monitoring and documenting feedback from potential customers. We can also analyze the fire code requirements to identify potential code changes and product specific requirements.

Standardized testing has included cone and LIFT testing, Steiner tunnel testing, large scale vertical furnace testing, UL268 room, E119 and other ANSI/UL, FM, NFPA, and ASTM test standards.