Fire safety testing facility

The National Research Council of Canada's (NRC) fire safety testing facilities have been established to support Canadian industry, government and academia in fire safety research including characterization of material fire behaviour; fire resistance testing; development and testing of fire protection systems. Today, we continue to work with the construction, transportation, marine, aerospace, and automotive industries in our world-class facilities: advancing technologies for saving lives, improving the fire safety of buildings and transportation systems, enhancing fire detection and suppression systems, and reducing the risk and costs of fire in Canada.

Our fire safety testing facilities are adaptable to a wide range of testing needs to meet industry and association standards, or for conducting custom tests for research and development purposes.

Most fire-related problems faced by Canadian industry can be addressed by our team. Our experts are capable of leading from bench- to large-scale experimental studies as well as numerical modelling of fire behaviour and people movement. Maintaining high standards, we have delivered high-quality and impactful R&D to our Canadian and international clients.

What we offer

Our fire safety testing facilities are adaptable to a wide range of testing needs to meet industry and association standards, or for conducting custom tests for research and development purposes, such as:

  • characterization of fire performance of materials, structural systems and products,
  • fire resistant research
  • technology development, enhancement and testing of fire protection systems; smoke management, fire detection and fire suppression systems
  • ad hoc testing and standard testing in accordance with most international fire test standards
  • fire modelling and fire risk assessment
  • human behaviour in fire emergencies

Fire safety facilities include:

  • the column test furnace: one of the world's largest column furnaces and the only one in North America capable of testing the fire resistance of a full-scale loaded column (with both vertical and lateral loadings. The lateral load allows the simulation of earthquake conditions after or before fires).
  • the wall test furnace: provides fire resistance of wall assemblies and doors and can fit sizes of 3 m x 3 m with a load of up to 2000 kN.
  • the floor/ceiling test furnace: measures the fire resistance of 3.9 m x 4.8 m specimens with loads up to 2000 kN in accordance with the ASTM E119, CAN/ULC-S101, ISO 834, UL 1709 and ASTM 1529 standards.
  • the intermediate-scale test furnace: measures the fire resistance of 1.2 m x 1.8 m specimens with loads up to 218 kN (floor) and 118 kN (wall) using the time-temperature of ASTM E119, CAN/ULC-S101, ISO 834 standards and hydro-carbon fires.
  • the immersive technologies for human behavior in fire laboratory: a virtual reality laboratory that uses immersive virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR) to simulate complex and visually rich emergency scenarios, which enables the study of evacuation with a sufficient level of ecological validity and a high level of experimental control.
  • the fire chemistry laboratory: equipped with a cone calorimeter and other analytical instruments to determine properties of materials under various fire conditions. We also analyze smoke effluents to assess toxicity and tenability.

Why work with us

At the NRC we recognize that a one-size-fits-all model isn't an option and will work with you to tailor our testing array and facilities to ensure they meet your needs. You will also benefit from our on-site experts who are available to share their wealth of knowledge and experience to support your research and testing requirements - from planning through execution and analysis. Finally, we have extensive experience in bringing together key partners from academia, government and industry to support research and innovation offering you access to a broad range of resources and expertise to further your testing and development objectives.

The end result? With the NRC, you will benefit from our comprehensive and customizable world-class testing facilities and our testing and research expertise.


We offer competitive fixed-rate pricing for standard testing completed at our Ottawa facilities. Customized and ad hoc testing programs are also competitively priced based on individual specific requirements. Contact us for more information.

Targeted industries

Construction, defense and security, forestry and forest-based industries, manufacturing and processing, transportation, marine, aerospace and automotive.

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Contact us

Chris Pezoulas, Director, Business Development
Telephone: 613-993-9502


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