Room integrity testing is often viewed as an essential component for fire protection systems. The purpose of this test is to determine if the doors and / or windows in a building are able to withstand heat and pressure from a fire. The purpose of the room integrity test is to show a building occupant that the doors and / or windows can withstand heat and pressure, and are still operable when faced with a fire. The test is important in determining the effectiveness of a fire protection system and the ability to protect against a dangerous occurrence such as a fire.
There are three common types of room integrity tests performed by fire protection contractors. First, the G-scale model is the first type of test used for commercial buildings and high-rise office buildings. A room is sealed and air is pumped in with the fan running at a high enough speed to force air out of the structure. As air is forced out of the building, the fan is allowed to slowly spin in the area of the opening, causing trapped gas to escape from the building and condensation to form on the exterior of the door and window. This is the G scale model for fire protection testing, where the maximum effective amount of air flow is allowed to escape the structure with the help of a large fan.
The second type of room integrity testing is the F scale model, where a small amount of a chemical is introduced into the enclosure. The fan is then allowed to spin, with the purpose of creating steam. The steam then falls into a collection basin, where it can be analyzed for moisture content. The third and final type of room integrity testing is the Z-scale model, which consists of a small amount of a chemical and a fan.