NIST Study Questions Furniture Ignition Test

The bench-scale test of whether a burning cigarette will ignite upholstered pieces may underestimate the materials' tendency to smolder, the agency's Mark Bello reported.

NIST's Mark Bello recently reported that a study by the agency shows the bench-scale test widely used to determine whether a lit cigarette will ignite upholstered furniture "may underestimate the tendency of component materials to smolder when these materials are used in sofas and chairs supported by springs or cloth." The National Institute of Standards and Technology and American University researchers cooperated to conduct the study.

The study is noteworthy because the test became controversial when California removed an open-flame test from its furniture flammability testing law in November 2013. As Bello notes, California's law is "the de facto national standard since no national regulation currently exists—and now relies solely on the so-called cigarette-smoldering-ignition test."

The NIST/AU study identified changes in the test that may make it more realistic, that is, more representative of a "near-worst-case scenario."

"Because it inhibits air flow, the current test apparatus may diminish the propensity for smoldering ignition," NIST's Rick Davis told Bello. "Creating gaps to increase air flow and the other modifications we are suggesting—especially adoption of a reference foam—will enable more consistent smoldering behavior and help to minimize other causes of inconsistent flammability test results."

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • The Top 5 Safety and Technology Trends to Watch in 2019

    Get the latest on trends you can expect to hear more about in 2019, including continued growth of mobile safety applications, wearable technology, and smart PPE; autonomous vehicles; pending OSHA recordkeeping rulemaking; and increased adoption of international safety standard, ISO 45001.

  • Get the Ultimate Guide to OSHA Recordkeeping

    OSHA’s Form 300A posting deadline is February 1! Are you prepared? To help answer your key recordkeeping questions, IndustrySafe put together this guide with critical compliance information.

  • Safety Training 101

    When it comes to safety training, no matter the industry, there are always questions regarding requirements and certifications. We’ve put together a guide on key safety training topics, requirements for certifications, and answers to common training questions.

  • Conduct EHS Inspections and Audits

    Record and manage your organization’s inspection data with IndustrySafe’s Inspections module. IndustrySafe’s pre-built forms and checklists may be used as is, or can be customized to better suit the needs of your organization.

  • Industry Safe

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - January 2019

    January 2019

    Featuring:

    • PREVENTING ERRORS
      Production vs. Safety 
    • EMERGENCY SHOWERS & EYEWASH
      Meeting the Requirements for Emergency Equipment
    • CONSTRUCTION SAFETY
      The State of Contractor Safety
    • FOOT PROTECTION
      The Three Keys to Effective Chemical Management
    View This Issue