Abstract A study of stainless steel cold-rolled box columns at elevated temperatures is presented, which is a part of an on-going RFCS project “Stainless Steel in Fire”, 2004–2007. Experimental results of six, class 4, stub columns at elevated temperature, tested by Ala-Outinen [Members with Class 4 cross-sections in fire: Work package 3, ECSC project stainless steel in fire. Contract no. RFS-CR-04048, Espoo, Finland; 2005], were used to evaluate the finite element (FE) model. The FE analysis obtained using the commercially available software, ABAQUS, shows that the critical temperature was closely predicted. Further, a parametric study was performed using the same numerical model. This was a basis to check the quality of prediction of a newly proposed improvement for design rules of class 4 cross-sections in fire according to EN 1993-1-4 [Eurocode 3 - Design of steel structures — Part 1-4: General rules — Supplementary rules for stainless steels, CEN; 2006] and EN 1993-1-2 [Eurocode 3: Design of steel structures — Part 1.2: General rules — Structural fire design, CEN; 2005].