There are several test methods to establish the burning behaviour of furniture, furnishings and mattresses. The most common ignition sources used are a glowing cigarette and a small gas flame, the size of a match.

Depending on where the furniture is to be used (hotel, school, domestic, hospitals, etc.) and also which market it is to be sold on the methods differ. It is important to know that the UK generally has the strictest requirements in Europe, both for the domestic and the public market.

This article includes a non-exhaustive list of the main tests we perform to assess the ignitability and flammability of furniture, matresses and bedding items.

Upholstered furniture

EN 1021-1/2

Furniture - Assessment of the ignitability of upholstered furniture - Part 1: Ignition source smouldering cigarette/ Part 2: Ignition source match flame equivalent

This standard is valid throughout the EU and examines a fabric's reaction to a burning cigarette and butane flame (simulated match). It replaces a number of national tests, including BS 5852 -- Methods of test for assessment of the ignitability of mattresses, upholstered divans and upholsteredbed bases with flaming types of primary and secondary sources of ignition -- in the UK.

ASTM E1353 - 08a

Standard Test Methods for Cigarette Ignition Resistance of Components of Upholstered Furniture

Assessment of the resistance of upholstered furniture component assemblies to combustion after exposure to smouldering cigarettes under specified conditions.

The tests apply to upholstered furniture components: cover fabrics, interior fabrics, welt cords, decking materials, barrier materials, and filling or padding materials including but not limited to: battings of natural or man-made fibers, foamed or cellular filling materials, resilient pads of natural or man-made fibers, and loose particulate filling materials (such as shredded polyurethane or feathers and down).

IMO 2010 FTP Code part 8

Fire test of upholstered furniture

The standard is used for maritime safety to assess the ignitability of material combinations, such as covers and fillings used in upholstered seating, when subjected to a smouldering cigarette and a match flame equivalent as ignition source.

Upholstered beds and matresses

EN 597 1/2

Furniture - Assessment of the ignitability of mattresses and upholstered bed bases - Part 1: Ignition source smouldering cigarette / Part 2: Ignition source match flame equivalent

The standard describes the test methods and requirements to assess the ignitability of mattresses, upholstered bed bases, mattress pads, divans, top mattresses etc., when subjected to a smouldering cigarette and a match flame equivalent as ignition source.

16 CFR 1632.2

Flammability of mattresses and mattress pads

This US standard prescribes requirements for testing of prototype designs of mattresses and mattress pads before the sale in commerce or the introduction in commerce of any mattress or mattress pad which is subject to the standard. The standard prescribes a test to determine the ignition resistance of a mattress or a mattress pad when exposed to a lighted cigarette.

Bedding items

EN-ISO 12952-1/2

Textiles - Assessment of the ignitability of bedding items - Part 1: Ignition source: smouldering cigarette / Part2: Ignition source: match-flame equivalent

Fires are sometimes caused by the ignition of bedding items by smokers' materials. The ignitability of bedding items by a smouldering cigarette or a small open flame is therefore an important feature in the assessment of the risk of fire.

This part of EN-ISO 21952 applies to mattress covers, underlays, incontinence sheets and pads, sheets, blankets, electric blankets, quilts (duvets) and covers, pillows (whatever the filling) and bolsters, pillowcases

IMO 2010 FTP Code part 9

Ignitability test for bedding components

The standard is used for maritime safety to assess the ignitability of mattresses, upholstered bed bases, quilts, blankets, pillows etc., when subjected to smouldering cigarettes and a flame similar to a burning match as ignition source.