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The Field Flame Test

So you've done your research, followed FDNY regulations and had your business location flameproofed. How do you know that the treatment that was performed is actually effective?

Enter the field flame test.

Once materials at a business property have been properly treated with flame repellents, they need to undergo a field flame test to ensure that they are actually indeed fire resistant.  This test will be performed by a valid C-15 Certificate of Fitness holder, likely the same company that performed the fireproofing treatments at your establishment.  The field flame test is only to be performed by a C-15 Certificate of Fitness holder, to ensure that the test is done accurately, safely, and that no property damage is incurred during the test - and, of course, to make sure a real fire isn't started in the process.

So what actually happens during a field flame test?

First, only a sample of the material is to be tested, preferably a piece 1.5" x 4". The test should never be done on in-tact materials, just samples.

The location of the test is important as well.  The field flame test should be conducted in an area that is safe, draft-free and within 10 feet of a portable fire extinguisher.  It's preferable that the test is conducted outside when possible.

The sample is then held vertically, with tongs if possible. It is then lit on fire with a regular wooden kitchen match at the center bottom edge.  The match is held in place for 12 seconds before it is taken away from the sample.

The items pass the field flame test when all of the following are true:

  • The flame doesn't quickly spread over the sample
  • The sample stops burning within 2 seconds of the flame being removed
  • The flaming material doesn't break off or drip from the sample and continue to burn

It's important for business owners to know that FDNY representatives are empowered to conduct a field flame test at any time.  If any item fails the test, it is required to be removed immediately from the business site, receive flameproofing treatments, pass additional field flame tests. Then, the owner needs to file a flame resistance affidavit with the FDNY.

The field flame test is a critical component of flameproofing treatments.  A treatment is only as good as its ability to pass the field flame test.  Business owners are encouraged to be present for the tests in order to make sure that the fireproofing treatments were successfully performed.

Here at Manhattan Flameproofing, we guarantee all of our work and will ensure that all treated items pass the field flame test. We recognize how important this is to fire safety and keeping the public safe from the threat of fires.  As industry leaders, we are here to meet all of your flameproofing needs with expertise and efficiency.  Please call us today to discuss how we can serve your business and keep it safe from the threat of fire: 1-800-268-7993.


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