Chapter 1 Glossary



Traditional Construction: of or pertaining to a characteristic of “older” styles of a particular product or process. It is recognized that many of the changes in construction started about 1970. Generally involves dimensional lumber

Modern Construction – of, relating to, or characteristic of the present or the immediate; of, relating to, or characteristic of a period extending from a relevant recent past to the present time. In this case it means buildings built after 1970 and includes those built yesterday.

Legacy Construction – of or relating to, or characteristic of the past practices of the construction industry. This could involve buildings that are over 100 years old.

Engineered Construction -Engineered wood products can be defined as products consisting of a combination of smaller components to make a structural product, designed using engineering methods. They are an alternative to traditional sawn lumber

Fire Resistance – A fire-resistance rating typically means the duration for which a passive fire protection system can withstand a standard fire resistance test. This can be quantified simply as a measure of time, or it may entail a host of other criteria, involving other evidence of functionality or fitness for purpose.

Fire Stopping – (Fire Blocking) Building materials or approved materials installed to resist the free passage of flame to other areas of the building through concealed spaces.

Flame Spread is a rating is a ranking derived by laboratory standard test methodology of a material’s propensity to burn rapidly and spread flames. There are several standardized methods of determining flame spread,

Flow Path is the course of movement that hot gases follow between the fire area and exhaust openings. It affects the movement of air into the fire. Air track is considered closely  related. Air track is the observation of the movement of both air and smoke as observed from the perspective of inside or outside of the structure. Air track terminology describes a group of fire behavior indicators.

I-Joists – Wood I-joists are composed of two horizontal components called flanges and a vertical component called a web. Wood I-joists are used as a framing material primarily in floors, but may also be used as roof rafters where long length and high load capacity are required.

IDLH – IDLH atmospheres are capable of causing death, irreversible adverse health effects, or the impairment of an individual’s ability to escape from a dangerous atmosphere. SEE WEBSITE

Lightweight Construction – Lightweight construction is a method of construction using lightweight materials such as plaster, wood, glass, aluminum, steel or similar materials and in this way is different from conventional construction that uses concrete and masonry. This is a type of construction where vertical and horizontal structural elements are primarily formed by a system of repetitive wood or cold formed steel framing remembers. Engineered wood products can be defined as products consisting of a combination of smaller components to make a structural product, designed using engineering methods. They are an alternative to traditional sawn lumber.

Load Path – Strengthening the structural frame of a building involves the idea of creating a “continuous load path” within a structure. A load path is a method of construction that uses a system of wood, metal connectors, fasteners (like nails and screws) and shear-walls to connect the structural frame of the house together from top to bottom. Maintaining a continuous load path is important to preventing the building from having a structural collapse. This not unlike the idea that a chain is not any stronger than its weakest link. A Load Path ties the house together from the roof to the foundation. When any component is damaged by fire it can fail, thereby compromising the rest of the structure.

Occupant Survival Ability Profile – determining if any occupants are trapped and if they can survive the current and projected fire conditions.

Situational Awareness – The perception of environmental elements with respect to time and/or space, the comprehension of their meaning, and the projection of their status after some variable has changed, such as time, or some other variable, such as a predetermined event. In the case of the fire service Situation Awareness is related to Building Construction, Command Risk Management and Firefighter Safety is another mission critical element.

Toxicity is the degree to which a substance can damage a firefighter when exposed to IDLH.


Active Suppression Products and systems that when activated mitigate fire
Classification Sample has met test for specific properties of or a limited range of safety hazards such as a fire door or gypsum board
Code A document that is an extensive compilation of provisions covering broad subject matter or that is suitable for adoption into law independently of other codes and standards (NFPA)
Company Name Manufacturer of this product
Content Flammability and Interior Finish Built environment composed of and filled with materials that are designed to minimize fire growth
Detection and Alarm Devices and systems used to detect and communicate the presence of smoke and/or fire
Education and Prevention Efforts that positively impact the skills, knowledge and behavior to prevent fires and minimize the potential of products to start fires
Event Time A method to note significant events; time at which the fire is believed to have begun is 0:00 elapsed time and progresses forward as fire event unfolds
File Number Number that corresponds to Certification File in Directory
Fire Path The primary direction in which the fire spreads from the point(s) of origin
Fire Rating or Design Number Some products bear an hourly rating while others will specify with which Fire Resistant Designs or Assemblies they can be used
Fire Safety Solution How event on the timeline could have been or was mitigated
Fire Service Trained men and women that work to extinguish a fire with the appropriate tools and equipment. Includes any fire department/EMS personnel at the fire ground, at a 911 center or local emergency operations command post.
Listing Mark Sample has met tests for reasonable and foreseeable safety hazards, including fire and shock such as a toaster or a washing machine
Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory Certification Mark Trademark of Laboratory who has assessed product, such as UL
Occupant Anyone inside the structure at the time the fire event begins
Passive Resistance The design and construction of a built environment to compartmentalize a fire event and maintain structural integrity
Products or Systems Involved name of a product (fire damper, heat detector, spray applied fire resistive material) or system (annunciator) that is a part of the Fire Safety Solution
Recognition Sample has met safety requirements as a component to be used in a listed assembly such as power supplies used in a computer or plastic used for computer housing
Serial Number or Control Number Numbers for internal use by the laboratory for label usage or product source
Standard A published technical document that represents an industry consensus on how a material, product of assembly is to be designed, manufactured, tested or installed so that a specific level of performance is obtained (ICC)
Type of Certification Indicates how a product was certified by the Laboratory.  At UL, “Listed” indicates testing for multiple hazards while“Classification” implies testing for one specific hazard
Type of Product What the product is and how it was certified