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Furniture Flammability Testing: A Guide

Furniture Flammability Testing: A Guide

There are about 200 house fire fatalities annually in the UK, with most incidents occurring between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. However, the implementation of the 2005 Fire Safety Order (RFFSO) mandated the designation of a responsible person for safety protocols for fire occurrence by the management of non-domestic structures such as workplaces, restaurants, flats, and hotels.

This involves ensuring that materials and soft furnishings meet British Standards for flammability testing. Here’s everything you need to know about furniture flammability testing.

Furniture Poses a Serious Fire Risk

The biggest fire threats in your home are upholstered items like sofas, mattresses, and cushioned seats and chairs. The National Fire Protection Agency estimates that each year, fire departments respond to an average of 358,500 dwelling structure fires, most of which start with upholstered furniture.

These items contain fillers and foam that, when ignited, burn quickly, release toxic gases, and quickly absorb oxygen. These items, if placed next to candlesticks, fireplaces, or heaters, can easily catch fire from a spark.

Why Is Flammability Testing Important?

Flammability testing helps determine how rapidly a textile or furniture material in the home may burn or catch fire when exposed to high temperatures or fire. In reaction to an upsurge in deadly unintended home fires, flammability restrictions were introduced in the United Kingdom in the 1970s.

Most of these fires are due to lighting and stoking household items and furniture. The furniture in the house poses a fire and toxic smoke hazard if it’s not checked for flammability. Major respiratory problems and, frequently, death can result from inhaling poisonous smoke and chemicals from a house fire.

Standards of Testing the Material Flammability

Before supplying the products, evaluate the material’s flammability properties to define flammability limitations to minimize the risk of house fire accidents. The following criteria must be met when evaluating a material’s flammability:

1. The Index of Deflagration

Represented as KG, in the deflagration index, the maximum rate of pressure rise is determined to check for a combustible mixture when the volume is normalized.

2. Limiting the Concentration of Oxygen

When coupled with flammable gas or vapour in any concentration, Limiting Oxygen Concentration (LOC) establishes the minimum oxygen concentration to test for a flammable occurrence.

3. Upper Flammability Limit

With the Upper Flammability Limit (UFL), the maximum concentration limit is determined to check for a flammable gas and air combination.

4. Lower Flammability Limit

With the Lower Flammability Limit (LFL), the minimum concentration limit is determined to check for a flammable gas and air combination. Several flammability tests help determine these qualities. Knowing these variables is critical for adopting adequate safety standards.

a house on fire

Get In Touch With IFS Laboratories for Affordable Flammability Testing Services

Looking for a low-cost flammability testing service in the UK? Look no further than IFS Laboratories

We have a team of professionals that can test your products and materials for flammability. Whether you’re looking for environmental flammability testing, drapes fire testing, curtain testing, candle safety testing, furniture & furnishing testing, automotive testing services, or children’s nightwear testing, consider IFS Laboratory.

In addition, we also provide a comprehensive range of Analytical testing services for companies in the UK.

Contact us today for more information about our services.