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Effect of Bed Clothes Modifications on Fire Performance of Bed Asemblies.

pdf icon Effect of Bed Clothes Modifications on Fire Performance of Bed Asemblies. (13520 K)
Ohlemiller, T. J.; Gann, R. G.

NIST TN 1449; 37 p. February 2003.

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clothing; beds (furniture); flammability; fire growth; heat release rate; mattresses


The severity of a bed fire is a function of the fire performance of the components of the bed and the interactions among them. Accordingly, a series of tests was conducted to elucidate how varying the behavior of bed clothes might affect the performance and eventual testing of the mattress and foundation. The tests were conducted on twin size mattress/foundation sets using bed clothes whose fiberfill content was either modified with regard to flammability or protected from direct flame impingement by a barrier layer. The mattress/foundation design had varied heat release rate peaks and fire growth mechanisms. The ignition source was a match-size flame applied to the unmodified hanging sheets and blanket on the side of the bed. Significant reduction in heat release rate and increase in time to that peak were observed for mattress pads that provided protection of the side of the mattress, for those mattresses that did not already have such protection. Alternation to the comforter and pillow, in addition to the mattress pad, brought lesser decreases in heat release rate peak and the specific result depended significantly on the nature of the materials used. For a mattress design of greatly reduced peak heat release rate, the potential synergism with the bed clothes decreases. This is because (a) the early peak heat release rate from the bed assembly becomes controlled by the bed clothes flammability behavior, and (b) the bedclothes have burned away before any late heat release rate peak occurs.