Fire Test Procedures Code (FTP code) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and its planned revision

The International Maritime Organization IMO has developed fire safety regulations for international commercial ships in the frame of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS). In July 1998, IMO introduced the Fire Test Procedures Code (FTP Code), which contains fire test procedures for fire safe constructions and materials used on board of ships. The FTP-Code basically uses fire tests of the International Standards Organization ISO, which cover non-combustibility, fire resistance, flammability, spread of flame, smoke and toxicity of constructions and materials, as well as of specific products like textiles, upholstered furniture and bedding. The tests are summarised in the following table.  

 Fire test procedures in the FTP Code


FTP Code

Type of test

Referred test method

Similar test method

Part 1

Non-combustibility Test

ISO 1182


Part 2

Smoke and Toxicity Test

ISO 5659-2


Part 3

Fire Resistance Test for Fire Resistant Divisions

IMO A.754(18)

ISO 834-1

Part 4

Fire Resistance Test for Fire Door Closing Mechanisms



Part 5

Surface Flammability Test

IMO A.653(16)

IMO A.687(17)

ISO 5658-2

Part 6

Test for Primary Deck Coverings

IMO A.653(16)

ISO 5658-2

Part 7

Flammability Tests for Curtains and Vertically Suspended Textiles and Films

IMO A.471(XII)

IMO A.563(14)

ISO 6940/41

EN 1101/02

 Part 8

Test for Upholstered Furniture

IMO A.652(16)

BS 5852-1

ISO 8191-1/-2

EN 1021-1/-2

 Part 9

Test for Bedding Components

IMO A.688(17)

EN 597-1/-2

A comprehensive review of the FTP Code has started in January 2006 and will be completed in 2008. The objective is to incorporate the most recent versions of ISO standards already contained in the FTP Code and to add new fire test methods:

  •   - In addition to the ISO 1182 test, ISO 1716 (calorific value) will be added to FTP Code Part 1
  • - Part 2 Smoke and toxicity testing to ISO 5659-2 will be extended by ISO 21489 (DIS) Gas measurement by FTIR

It is foreseen to amend former fire safety requirements with Resolution IMO A.654(16) and to extend the spread of flame test to ISO 5658-2 by heat release tests like the ISO 5660-1 Cone calorimeter test and the ISO 9705 Full scale room fire test.

The revision of the IMO FTP Code will set higher fire safety requirements and thereby improve the protection of ships against catastrophic fires.