NFPA issues white paper on upholstered furniture flammability

Blog Post created by ryan.quinn Employee on Sep 13, 2013


http://www.nfpa.org/furniture_analysis!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef019aff5f385d970c-120wi|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef019aff5f385d970c-120wi|alt=Sofa-Fire|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=Sofa-Fire|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef019aff5f385d970c!In 2006-2010 US home structure fires that began with upholstered furniture  accounted for:

    • 480 civilian deaths per year (19% of all home fire deaths),

    • 6,700 structure fires per year (2%),

    • 840 civilian injuries per year (7%), and

    • $427 million in direct property damage per year (6%).


Why a white paperon this topic?

Due to the serious health effects attributable to the chemicals (polybrominated diphenyl ethers or PBDEs) that are used as fire retardant treatments of upholstered furniture filling materials - to comply with the open flame test portions of existing regulations - manufacturers began phasing out the PBDEs about ten years ago.

In late 2012, California began work on revising its state regulation to remove the only open flame test requirement for domestic upholstered furniture in the US. Meanwhile, CPSC is continuing work toward a possible federal regulation for upholstered furniture but one that is only intended to address cigarette ignitions (not open flame). 

Also potentially relevant is growing concern over the threats to occupants and firefighters of faster-growing, more severe fires. This issue is also often cited whenever home fire sprinklers are debated.

In the following video, Dr. John Hall, Division Director - Fire Analysis and Research at NFPA discusses the report:


This situation adds timeliness and urgency to several questions:

What is the size of the upholstered furniture fire problem?

    1. What are the +different parts of that fire problem +that involve different aspects of upholstered furniture fire performance, and what is the relative size of these different parts?

Which parts of the upholstered furniture fire problem are addressed by existing regulations, and what is the evidence on how well those regulations have worked?

    1. What are the different +engineered options +used to comply with existing regulations and intended to reduce furniture flammability, and what are the pros and cons of those options (e.g., effectiveness in reducing flammability, other effects such as health effects, cost)?

Find the answer to the above questions: [Download UpholsteredFurnitureWhitePaper | http://nfpa.typepad.com/files/upholsteredfurniturewhitepaper.pdf]


Get the fact sheet

!http://i.zemanta.com/194462607_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/194462607_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!California Proposal to Change Fire Safety Standards for Upholstered Furniture Could Jeopardize Consumer Safety