The fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) composites are gaining increasing popularity due to their high strength to weight ratio, weight reduction properties. However, the heat/fire vulnerability of polymer-bsased tructural composites brings abrupt mechanical properties reduction with heat, smoke, toxic release, and even mechanical failure and risk of collapse when exposed to simultaneously fire damage and structural loading. Among various approaches, surface fire protective coating is the most promising method to tackle this challenge. In this work, an epoxy-based gel coat with functional fillers was formulated and applied to the surface of the substrate of viny ester resin (VER) and VER-based composites by brush coating. The peak heat release value was lowered by more than 60% with a postpone of it for more than 100s for FRP composites. The initiation of reverse side decomposition for pure resin and composites was postponed for more than 100s too, and the backside of composites survived with a 1min attack of torch fire. Besides, a novel bench-scale instrument was designed to investigate the fire structural behavior of FRP composite with functional coating. This one-year work provides insightful and helpful information for future investigation on the influence of the novel surface coating for the fire reaction and fire structural properties of FRP composites.