Fire safety – fire reaction of materials, fire resistance of structures, the people safety – is a key requirement for the integration of innovations in construction: new materials, forms and assemblies, thermal breaks, fasteners and resin anchors, insulation, etc. In order to characterize and optimize fire safety levels, from the building structure as a whole to major pieces of infrastructure, such as tunnel equipment, the CSTB mobilizes exceptional experimental facilities as well as the latest digital simulation tools.


The CSTB has fire reaction and resistance laboratories approved by the French Interior Ministry (order of 22 March 2004, amended). In addition to general services, it also has the following expertise:

Engineering of the fire behavior of structures

  • characterization of the fire resistance/stability of structures and complex full scale configurations (2D - 3D), including all types of construction materials and solutions. High Vulcain furnace, up to 10 meters, for tests on large (height and width) structural components and modular configurations (facades or flooring), for conventional fires up to and including the modified hydrocarbon curve and higher (1,350°C max).

People safety

  • Modeling and analysis of the performance of smoke extraction systems and of evacuation conditions on the basis of realistic fire scenarios. On-site trials on ventilation and smoke removal systems; characterization of spray systems (water mist extinguishing and sprinkler systems)
  • Estimation and optimization of the time needed to ensure the safety of people in a structure on fire, through modeling and digital simulations and instrumented experimental campaigns
  • Fire reaction of a building's materials and components
  • Assessments of fire behavior engineering studies: validation of an engineering study on fire behavior by issuing an opinion on the study within the meaning of Article 15 of the decree of 22 March 2004, amended.
  • Support for worksite assessments.


  • Furnaces + Combination and hybridization of measurements/simulation (temperature range, deformation - 3D constraints), damage monitoring (3D display, acoustic emissions), dynamic measurement of the emissions of combustion products, pollutants, etc.
  • Characterization and monitoring of fire damage, from the scale of the material to the scale of the building. Conducting full scale and on-site fire trials
  • Digital models and software: SAFIR 3D modeling of the fire behavior of structures SCHEMA-SI stochastic assessments of the fire safety level, CIFI standard zone model simulations, Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS): a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model, SEVE-P, EXODUS evacuation modeling vs. human behavior.