Foam sheathing can be used in a variety of buildings and assemblies requiring fire resistance, where properly tested. Below find resources for using foam sheathing in fire rated applications.

Top Resources for NFPA 285 Compliance using Foam Sheathing:

 

Tools & Education

Identifies the products supplied by FSC members who have code evaluation reports showing compliance with NFPA 285 testing requirements. 

In view of international fire events, this flyer examines U.S. codes and standards (IBC and NFPA 285 requirements) as well as the practice of engineering evaluations, emphasizing the importance of keeping the focus on compliance and enforcement.

NFPA 285 Standard Test Method has been part of the International Building Code and previous model building code requirements for many decades. NFPA 285 is used to evaluate the suitability of exterior wall assemblies that are constructed using combustible materials or that incorporate combustible components where exterior walls are required to be non-combustible. 

NFPA has developed this free interactive tool to help navigate the code requirements that apply to exterior walls containing combustible components. It also helps determine when those requirements apply for testing to NFPA 285.

Best Practices

Foam plastics used in buildings of Types I-IV construction require an assessment of their ability to resist vertical and lateral flame spread. Determine if your assembly is required to comply with NFPA 285 Fire testing with this decision tree.

Practical Research

Research report covering the use of foam sheathing when used as exterior wall sheathing or in exterior walls in Type I, II, III, and IV construction as defined by the IBC. Available as a sealed code compliance report.

Research report covering the use of foam sheathing when used as exterior wall sheathing or in exterior walls in Type V construction as defined by the IBC. Available as a sealed code compliance report.

Additional Information

Re-examining fire safety in light of tragedies such as the Grenfell fire yields a few lessons for the U.S. market. Strictly conforming to the IBC can help builders and designers provide the best engineered, economic and safest solutions. 

A leaked Building Research Establishment (BRE) report summarizing the investigation into the deadly Grenfell Tower fire last year in London points to several causes for the tragedy, including non-compliance of a recent refurbishment with buillding codes. 

Thirty years of NFPA 285 use has generated no evidence of any life safety deficiencies. The keys to safe construction remain: know the code requirements, rely on the value of professional engineering and follow all construction details and product installation requirements.

This review of UK regulations examines building and fire safety regulations and related compliance and enforcement, with a focus on high rise residential buildings. This final report sets out over 50 recommendations for government as to how to deliver a more robust regulatory system for the future.