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Building Construction Concerns for Firefighters: Room Contents vs. Rated Assemblies

By Gregory Havel When firefighters think of a "fire-rated" wall, floor-ceiling assembly, or door and frame, we usually think of a rating in "hours." Photo 1 shows the labels on a three-hour-rated door and frame in a four-hour-rated masonry wall located between a factory's office wing and a manufacturing area with hazardous processes. (1) The "fire rating" is from a test described by ASTM Standard E119 and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard 251, Standard Methods of Tests of Fire Resistance of Building Construction and Materials, 2006 edition. This test was first adopted as a standard in 1918 and has been refined since. The test uses the Sta...

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