Standardization News

Eaves and Horizontal Projections

A wildland-urban interface is a transitional zone between unoccupied land and human development. There are currently more than 40 million homes located within WUI areas throughout the United States. A proposed new ASTM standard will be used to alleviate the issue of fire conditions that exist due to eaves and other projections in structures that exist in WUI areas.

WK37414, Test Method for Flammability and Resistance of Eaves and Horizontal Projections to Fire Penetration, is being developed by Subcommittee E05.14 on External Fire Exposures, part of ASTM International Committee E05 on Fire Standards.

As fire travels vertically, gases collect at the overhang areas of eaves and other horizontal projections of a structure, creating a potential increase in rate and speed of flame spread along the projections.

WK37414 will be a fire test response standard that will cover the measurement of the relative fire characteristics of the exposed underside of both open and closed projections, such as horizontal soffits and extended open roof eaves, floor projections, and exposed under-floor areas to direct flame impingement from a simulated fire originating outside a building.

According to John Simontacchi, CEO/founder, Firefree Coatings Inc., and an E05 member. property owners will be able to use new products tested to WK37417 to install at overhang ares, removing a portion of the wildfire risk to structures.

"Any product that have passed the standard, once it has been approved, would be available from suppliers such as hardware stores, lumber yards and manufacturers," says Simontacchi.

Once approved, the proposed standard will be used in the following ways:

  • Manufacturers will use WK37417 as a guideline in developing new products to meet WUI codes.
  • Regulatory bodies will use it as a guideline for approving products that have met WK37414 requirements.
  • Consumers will be able to use WK37414 to make better choices when selecting products to solve the eave/horizontal projection problem in WUI areas.
  • Fire testing laboratories will conduct proper test procedures as set forth in WK37414.

CONTACT Technical Information: John Simontacchi, Firefree Coatings Inc. • San Rafael, Calif. • Phone: 415-459-6488 | ASTM Staff: Thomas O'Toole • Phone: 610-832-9739 | Upcoming Meeting: June 23-26 • June Committee Week • Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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