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News Article

Furniture Fire Safety​

FIRA members can access the meeting report from a recent Furniture Fire Safety event held in Brussels, and attended by 70 delegates. Key speakers at the event included:

Key speakers at the event included:

  • Guillermo Rein, Professor of Fire Science, Imperial College – Moderator
  • René R Hagen, Professor of Fire Safety, Institute for Safety
  • Matthew Blais, Director of Fire Technology, Southwest research Institute
  • Pär Stenmark, Chief Regulatory Affairs Officer, IKEA

Key facts presented were:

  • Approximately 6,000 people die across Europe from fires
  • 80-90% of these are in the domestic environment
  • 25% of these are linked to upholstered furniture
  • Injuries will be 10% these figures
  • 25% of fires were started by cigarettes

Three identical sofas (from a large multinational retailer) that were compliant in the US, France and the UK were tested in room situations:

  • US and France sofas took 3 – 4 mins to generate significant amounts of smoke
  • UK sample took 17-18 minutes
  • US and France sofas reached flashover conditions in 5 mins
  • UK sample started significant burn in 18 mins and flashover in 25 mins
  • Whilst all smoke is toxic, the UK sample gave off the least toxic smoke

This demonstrated the need for more research, as the findings do not tally with other research published in recent years (albeit with a different methodology).

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