[Building Materials] Surface-burning Characteristics, BIKT

See General Information for Building Materials


Surface-burning characteristics provide data with regard to flame spread and smoke developed during fire exposure of the certified materials in comparison with inorganic reinforced cement board and untreated red oak lumber when exposed to fire under similar conditions.

These materials must have a flame spread rating of 200 or less on one face to be eligible for certification, unless indicated otherwise in the individual product categories. For a finished product made up of two or more components, the ratings of the individual components, or the highest rating of any of the components, may be shown in addition to the finished product rating. For a finished product which is not symmetrical through its cross-section, the certification may include the specific ratings of each face, or one rating which is representative of each face.

As indicated in the individual certifications, material systems have been additionally fire tested in accordance with the requirements, descriptions and procedures of the indicated national codes and standards.

Tests for certification of building materials for surface-burning characteristics contemplate interior applications only, unless indicated otherwise in the individual certifications as having been investigated for exterior applications.


Toxicity of the products of combustion have not been investigated. It should be recognized that the products of combustion from fires may be toxic to varying degrees, inasmuch as they may include smoke (particulate), carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and other vapors and gases, depending upon the conditions of burning and the materials involved. Occupancy tenability depends upon the conditions of heating or burning and the degree of confinement (ventilation) of the products of combustion or decomposition.


The basic standard used to investigate building products for surface-burning characteristics is ANSI/UL 723, "Test for Surface Burning Characteristics of Building Materials." The same test method is also covered in ANSI/ASTM E84, "Standard Test Method for Surface Burning Characteristics of Building Materials." Where surface-burning characteristics are required, many model codes recognize either standard.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

UL, in performing its functions in accordance with its objectives, does not assume or undertake to discharge any responsibility of the manufacturer or any other party. UL shall not incur any obligation or liability for any loss, expense or damages, including incidental or consequential damages, arising out of or in connection with the use, interpretation of, or reliance upon this Guide Information.

Last Updated on 2009-05-18
BIKT.GuideInfo BIKT Active 20090518 20090518

The appearance of a company's name or product in this database does not in itself assure that products so identified have been manufactured under UL's Follow-Up Service. Only those products bearing the UL Mark should be considered to be Certified and covered under UL's Follow-Up Service. Always look for the Mark on the product.

UL permits the reproduction of the material contained in the Online Certification Directory subject to the following conditions: 1. The Guide Information, Assemblies, Constructions, Designs, Systems, and/or Certifications (files) must be presented in their entirety and in a non-misleading manner, without any manipulation of the data (or drawings). 2. The statement "Reprinted from the Online Certifications Directory with permission from UL" must appear adjacent to the extracted material. In addition, the reprinted material must include a copyright notice in the following format: "© 2019 UL LLC".