Safety Policies

SY10 Interior Finish - Fire and Smoke Classification

Policy Status: 


Subject Matter Expert: 

Steve Triebold, 863-3915,

Policy Steward: 

Director of Environmental Health and Safety



To define the guidelines for the purchase and acquisition of various types and compositions of carpeting, floor and ceiling tile, wall coverings, etc.


It is the intent of the University to provide buildings and facilities so constructed, arranged, equipped, maintained and operated in such a manner as to avoid undue danger to the lives and safety of its occupants from fire,smoke, fumes and resulting panic during the period of time reasonably necessary for escape in case of fire or other emergency.

One of the essential provisions necessary for ensuring this safe evacuation and reducing the possible rapid spread of fire and accumulation of untenable smoke conditions is the basic type of finish materials exposed on the interior surfaces of buildings including, but not limited to, fixed or movable walls, partitions, columns, ceilings and floors.


In accordance with International Building Code, 2018 Edition, interior finish materials are grouped in the following classes, in accordance with their flame spread:

  • Class A Interior Finish: Flame Spread 0 - 25
  • Class B Interior Finish: Flame Spread 26 - 75
  • Class C Interior Finish: Flame Spread 76 - 200

The classification rating shall be identified in the specifications of the material(s) by the manufacturer. (This may be by classification letter, i.e. A-B-C, or by flame spread rating, or both).


Interior wall and ceiling finishes may not have a flame spread index which exceeds those specified in Table 803.13 “Interior Wall and Ceiling Finish Requirements by Occupancy” for the group and location designated. This table can be accessed by referring to the International Building Code, 2018 Edition.


In all instances, interior finish materials, irrespective of the approved classification of flame spread, shall have a smoke density rating of less than 450. This rating shall likewise be included in the specifications of the material(s) by the manufacturer.


Interior floor finishes shall be grouped in the following classes in accordance with the critical radiant flux ratings:

  • Class I Interior floor finish. Critical radiant flux, minimum of 0.45 watts per square centimeter.*
  • Class II Interior floor finish. Critical radiant flux, minimum of 0.22 watts per square centimeter.*

*Critical radiant flux test ratings shall be classified in accordance with NFPA 253, "Standard method of test for critical radiant flux of floor covering systems using a radiant heat energy source."


For questions, additional detail, or to request changes to this policy, please contact the Director of Environmental Health and Safety.

Most Recent Changes:

  • January 12, 2023 - Policy reviewed and content is still accurate as documented. Editorial change to update Policy Steward and reference to 2018 International Building Code.


Revision History (and effective dates):

  • March 16, 2017 - Upon review, the policy content is still accurate as documented.
  • June 13, 2014 - Major edits to the policy to reflect current operations. Policy updated to reflect change of reference standard in CLASSIFICATION OF INTERIOR FINISH section. Removed Interior Finish Table and added reference information in INTERIOR FINISH BY OCCUPANCY section. Added policy steward/ further information references, in the event that there are questions or requests for changes to the policy.
  • June 14, 2006 - Revision History added.
  • April 15, 1993 - Retyped without change from May 27, 1987.
  • May 27, 1987 - Revised SMOKE DENSITY section.

Date Approved: 

January 12, 2023

Date Published: 

January 12, 2023

Effective Date: 

March 16, 2017