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HomeAll Years:AuthorKeywordTitle2005-2010:AuthorKeywordTitle

Study of Size Effects in the Fire Performance of Beds.

pdf icon Study of Size Effects in the Fire Performance of Beds. (578 K)
Ohlemiller, T. J.

NIST TN 1465; NIST Technical Note 1465; 30 p. January 2005.


beds (furniture); mattresses; fire resistance tests; gas burners; ignition source; matches; heat release rate; bedding


Three mattress/foundation designs of varied fire resistance were tested with the California Technical Bulletin 603 protocol (TB 603, using a pair of gas burners as the ignition source) and also with a set of heavy bedclothes ignited by a match-size flame. All designs were tested in both twin and king size; one design was tested also in queen size. A major goal was to assess the possible existence of a mattress size dependence in the response to the TB 603 protocol. All testing was done inside a room (3.66 m wide by 4.27 m long by 2.44 m high) with a single door opening half the width of a fully opened door. The design yielding the lowest peak heat release rate (HRR) showed no mattress size dependence. The two other designs were more ambiguous but showed no size dependence in their response judged against the TB 603 pass/fail criteria. The bedclothes fires atop the lowest HRR mattress showed a large size dependence in their HRR peak. The queen and especially the king size bedclothes peaks were large enough to pose serious secondary ignition threats in a realistic bedroom context. When tested atop the other two, less resistant, mattress designs, the bedclothes fires yielded controlled fires for the twin size but runaway fires for the king size.