Materials prescribed herein for fire resistance shall conform to the requirements of this chapter.
The fire-resistance rating of building elements, components or assemblies shall be determined in accordance with the test procedures set forth in ASTM E 119 or UL 263 or in accordance with Section 703.3. Where materials, systems or devices that have not been tested as part of a fire-resistance-rated assembly are incorporated into the building element, component or assembly, sufficient data shall be made available to the building official to show that the required fire-resistance rating is not reduced. Materials and methods of construction used to protect joints and penetrations in fire-resistance-rated building elements, components or assemblies shall not reduce the required fire-resistance rating.
Interior walls and partitions of nonsymmetrical construction shall be tested with both faces exposed to the furnace, and the assigned fire-resistance rating shall be the shortest duration obtained from the two tests conducted in compliance with ASTM E 119 or UL 263. When evidence is furnished to show that the wall was tested with the least fire-resistant side exposed to the furnace, subject to acceptance of the building official, the wall need not be subjected to tests from the opposite side (see Section 705.5 for exterior walls).
Combustible aggregates are permitted in gypsum and Portland cement concrete mixtures for fire-resistance-rated construction. Any component material or admixture is permitted in assemblies if the resulting tested assembly meets the fire-resistance test requirements of this code.
Fire-resistance-rated assemblies tested under ASTM E 119 or UL 263 shall not be considered to be restrained unless evidence satisfactory to the building official is furnished by the registered design professional showing that the construction qualifies for a restrained classification in accordance with ASTM E 119 or UL 263. Restrained construction shall be identified on the plans.
The application of any of the alternative methods listed in this section shall be based on the fire exposure and acceptance criteria specified in ASTM E 119 or UL 263. The required fire resistance of a building element, component or assembly shall be permitted to be established by any of the following methods or procedures:
- Fire-resistance designs documented in sources.
- Prescriptive designs of fire-resistance-rated building elements, components or assemblies as prescribed in Section 721.
- Calculations in accordance with Section 722.
- Engineering analysis based on a comparison of building element, component or assemblies designs having fire-resistance ratings as determined by the test procedures set forth in ASTM E 119 or UL 263.
- Alternative protection methods as allowed by Section 104.11.
Under the prescriptive fireresistance requirements of the Florida Building Code, Building, the fire-resistance rating of a building element, component or assembly shall be established without the use of automatic sprinklers or any other fire suppression system being incorporated as part of the assembly tested in accordance with the fire exposure, procedures, and acceptance criteria specified in ASTM E 119 or UL 263. However, this section shall not prohibit or limit the duties and powers of the building official allowed by Section 104.11.
The tests indicated in Sections 703.5.1 and 703.5.2 shall serve as criteria for acceptance of building materials as set forth in Sections 602.2, 602.3 and 602.4 in Type I, II, III and IV construction. The term "noncombustible" does not apply to the flame spread characteristics of interior finish or trim materials. A material shall not be classified as a noncombustible building construction material if it is subject to an increase in combustibility or flame spread beyond the limitations herein established through the effects of age, moisture or other atmospheric conditions.
Materials required to be noncombustible shall be tested in accordance with ASTM E 136.
Materials having a structural base of noncombustible material as determined in accordance with Section 703.5.1 with a surfacing not more than 0.125 inch (3.18 mm) thick that has a flame spread index not greater than 50 when tested in accordance with ASTM E 84 or UL 723 shall be acceptable as noncombustible materials.
Fire-resistance-rated glazing, when tested in accordance with ASTM E 119 or UL 263 and complying with the requirements of Section 707, shall be permitted. Fire-resistance-rated glazing shall bear a label marked in accordance with Table 716.3 issued by an agency and shall be permanently identified on the glazing.
Fire walls, fire barriers, fire partitions, smoke barriers and smoke partitions or any other wall required to have protected openings or penetrations shall be effectively and permanently identified with signs or stenciling. Such identification shall:
- Be located in accessible concealed floor, floor-ceiling or attic spaces;
- Be located within 15 feet (4572 mm ) of the end of each wall and at intervals not exceeding 30 feet (9144 mm) measured horizontally along the wall or partition; and
- Include lettering not less than 3 inches (76 mm ) in height with a minimum 3/8 inch (9.5 mm) stroke in a contrasting color incorporating the suggested wording. "FIRE AND/OR SMOKE BARRIER—PROTECT ALL OPENINGS" or other wording.