What is Fire Science and Technology Inc.?

FSTI is a firm specializing in fire science, contract R&D, fire litigation support, assistance in the development of products with improved fire safety, and related subjects. It is headed by Dr. Vytenis (Vyto) Babrauskas.

What are the FSTI services offered in the R&D area?

FSTI offers to product manufacturers, research institutions, governmental entities and others a complete line of contract R&D services in the fire safety area. These include formulation and management of research programs, technical assistance with product development, and various aspects of fire testing.


  • Management of research and development programs in the fire safety area.
  • Assistance to manufacturers with fire test standards and requirements.
  • Development of code change proposals and technical backups for variance requests.
  • Fire hazard analyses.
  • Assistance to exporters and importers with foreign fire safety requirements.
  • Assessments of product combustion toxicity and corrosivity.
  • Computer fire modeling.
  • Scientific analyses of fire behavior in connection with reconstruction of fire incidents.
  • Assessments of effectiveness of fire retardancy and of fire performance of plastics and composites.
  • Development of new fire safety design concepts for unusual applications.
  • Training seminars, lectures, custom-designed educational offerings.

[Note: FSTI does not provide routine fire protection services, such as design of automatic sprinkler and fire alarm systems, fire safety audits, etc.]


Fire Science and Technology Inc. is headed by Dr. Vytenis (Vyto) Babrauskas. Dr. Babrauskas was the first ever person to be awarded a Ph.D. degree in Fire Protection Engineering. For more than 16 years he headed up numerous fire research programs and projects at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). In 1993 he organized FSTI to make available some advanced fire safety expertise to a commercial clientele.


The clients of FSTI are offered expertise drawing upon the extensive fire safety experience of Dr. Babrauskas, which includes:

Developed the first-ever U.S. computer fire model (COMPF) in 1975.

Invented the Cone Calorimeter, which is now an ASTM standard (E 1354) and has been adopted by many countries and by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO 5660). This was the first fire test method to be awarded the prestigious R&D 100 award.

Invented the furniture calorimeter. This has formed the basis for the current-day standard practice in measuring the heat release rate of furniture and other commodities. It is referenced in numerous ASTM, UL and foreign standards.

Developed procedures which led to the first comprehensive, systematic fire hazard analysis to be conducted, based on full-scale and bench-scale testing (for FRCA).

Pioneering technical leadership in quantifying furniture flammability and its measurement. This was described in a NIST monograph. More recently, provided extensive technical guidance to the European CBUF research program, which was completed in 1995 by a consortium of 11 laboratories. This has led to a new generation of furniture fire models.

Developed the first standard for the exchange of fire test data in computer file form (FDMS). This is now being used by a number of laboratories, instrument manufacturers, and fire models.

Extensive experience with International Standards, serving as a U.S. Assigned Expert. Also, was the U.S. Technical Representative to the Japanese program leading towards the development of a performance-based building code for Japan.

Produced the first comprehensive state-of-the-art assessment of flammability test methods for electric wire and cable products (for NEMA).

Invented the laser smoke photometer, now commonly used in bench-scale, intermediate scale, and large-scale fire tests.

Headed the NIST team to develop a new-generation fire toxicity test. Developed the technology for the necessary CO predictions in order to extend test applicability to post-flashover fires.

Copyright © 1996, 1998, 2020 by Fire Science and Technology Inc.