Influence of Ignition Source on the Flaming Fire Hazard of Upholstered Furniture.
Influence of Ignition Source on the Flaming Fire Hazard
of Upholstered Furniture.
Cleary, T. G.; Ohlemiller, T. J.; Villa, K. M.
NISTIR 4847; 71 p. June 1992.
Fire Safety Journal, Vol. 23, 79-102, 1994.
Available from: National Technical Information Service
Order number: PB92-205384
upholstered furniture; ignition source; chairs; fabrics;
fire statistics; fire hazard; furniture calorimeters;
hazard analysis; home fires; incandescent lamps
A set of upholstered chairs constructed from five
different fabric/foam combinations was subjected to a
variety of ignition sources suggested by fire
statistics. The sources included a cigarette, a small
match-like flame, an incandescent lamp, a space heater,
and a large flame source (CTB 133 equivalent gas
burner). The tests were performed in a furniture
calorimeter where heat release rate and species
production rates were obtained. For any chair type, the
time to the peak heat release rate depended on the
ignition sequence, but the magnitude of the peak did
not, within the scatter of the data for any given chair.
HAZARD I, the fire hazard assessment method developed at
NIST, was used to quantify the hazard posed by the
different ignition scenarios. No deaths were predicted
when a working smoke detector was present. When a
detector was not present, the results from the limited
number of scenarios considered confirm the importance of
a low peak heat release rate and a slow rate of rise to
lessen the hazard of upholstered furniture fires. No
one of the ignition scenarios examined consistently
yielded the greatest potential hazard for all chair
types tested when ignition and sustained burning was
achieved. It is recommended that the hazards of
upholstered furniture for residential use be assessed on
the basis of resistance to small flame and cigarette
ignition combined with peak heat release rate and time
to peak subsequent to ignition by a strong source such
as the CTB 133 equivalent gas burner.