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Flammability and Fire Resistance Testing of Children’s Sleepwear and Nightwear

The textiles used in Nightwear and Sleepwear can burn rapidly when accidentally set alight by contact with an open flame or other heat source. Burns from accidents can cause serious injury or death in children, the elderly and vulnerable adults. In consequence, various mandatory and voluntary measures have been taken to reduce the spread of flame and control the burning behaviour of fabrics used in nightwear and to make the public more aware of the dangers. On 1st March 1987 ‘The Nightwear (Safety) Regulations 1985’ came into force, replacing ‘The Nightdresses (Safety) Regulations 1967’. These regulations apply to ‘Nightwear’ including garments which are commonly worn as nightwear. However, as they do not apply to ‘Children’s Pyjamas’, a harmonised voluntary specification standardBS EN 14878 was developed to specifically assess the burning behaviour of Children’s Pyjamas.


Children’s Pyjamas

BS EN 14878: 2007 – Textiles – Burning behaviour of Children’s Nightwear – Specification. This specification provides requirements for the design of Pyjamas and the burning behaviour of Children’s Nightwear and nightwear fabrics intended for such garments when tested in accordance with BS EN 1103 without the washing procedure:

BS EN 1103 – Textile – Fabric for apparel – Detailed procedure to determine the burning behaviour


Children’s Nightdress and Dressing Gowns

Nightdresses and dressing gowns/bathrobes (except those made of cotton terry towelling) for babies over 3 months and Children must comply with the performance standard of BS 5722: 1984 and the labelling requirements as required by The Nightwear (Safety) Regulations 1985. Due to the nature and design of these garments the minimum performance criteria are more stringent that those given for garments that are tighter fitting i.e. Pyjamas and onesies. Testing of Nightdresses, Dressing gowns/bathrobes is carried out in accordance with:

BS 5438: 1989 Test 3 – Methods of test for – Flammability of textile fabrics when subjected to a small igniting flame applied to the face or bottom edge of vertically orientated specimens.

Types of Flammability Testing