Ember/Flame Resistance of Vents

Adopted in 2005, Chapter 7A of the California Building Code describes provisions for attic vents for new construction in wildfire-prone areas. While the California code notes that attic vents should resist the intrusion of embers and flames, there had not been a standard to evaluate such intrusion. A new ASTM standard, E2886/E2886M, Test Method for Evaluating the Ability of Exterior Vents to Resist the Entry of Embers and Direct Flame Impingement, now fills this need.

Vents are used in most new and existing homes and buildings to minimize the chance of excessive moisture buildup, particularly in attics and crawl spaces. The intrusion of embers through vents is known to be one of the causes of home and building ignition and destruction during wildfires. Vents that resist ember entry would help homes and buildings survive such fires.

"Embers from wildfires, not the flames from the main body of the wildfire, are the main threat that homes must resist," says ASTM member Stephen Quarles, senior scientist, Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety. "E2886 will help users discriminate between the ember and flame resistance performance of vents."

Primary users of the new standard will be manufacturers of vents and building code officials in areas where performance criteria have been established for ventilation products used in homes and building that are constructed in wildfire-prone areas.

E2886/E2886M was developed by Subcommittee E05.14 on External Fire Exposures, part of ASTM International Committee E05 on Fire Standards.

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CONTACT Technical Information: Stephen Quarles, Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety • Richburg, S.C. • Phone: 803-789-4209 | ASTM Staff: Thomas O'Toole • Phone: 610-832-9739 | Upcoming Meeting: Dec. 8-11 • December Committee Week • New Orleans, La.

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