Impression tests mattresses
Every year, about 5000 people in the EU die as a result of a residential fire. Statistics show that at least 36% of fires in dwellngs started in upholstered furniture and mattresses (Annual overview of fatal residential fires 2020, 2021). International research shows comparable figures. The number of deaths and injuries can drop significantly if the fire safety of upholstered furniture and mattresses is improved. So for the past ten years, the Fire Service Academy of the Institute for Safety has had the mission to improve the fire safety of upholstered furniture and mattresses in the residential environment. In 2016, the Fire Service Academy carried out a study commisioned by the FEU (Federation of European Union Fire Officer Associations) to explore what kind of tests are necessary to make upholstered furniture and mattresses more fireproof. In the 2017 report (Fire safety of upholstered furniture and mattresses in the domestic area), the FEU advises manufacturers and governments on what test methods should be used for upholstered furniture and mattresses. The FEU report also refers to another study on impression tests with upholstered furniture and mattresses (Impression tests upholstered furniture and mattresses, 2017). In this study, the most sold sofas and mattresses were tested for ignition and fire behavior in a realistic residential environment.
Following an article on fireproof furniture, Royal Auping B.V. contacted the Fire Service Academy. They have developed a mattress (Auping Evolve) in which a different material composition is used than in conventional mattresses. These different materials have an intended circular economy benefit and a presumed fire safety benefit. The company has asked the Fire Service Academy to perform impression tests with their new and conventional mattresses.
Purpose and research questions
The purpose of this research is to get an impression of the fire behaviour of the newly developed mattress of Royal Auping B.V. and the possibility of escape and survivability in the domestic area when exposed to different common test ignition sources (cigarette and crib 5). In addition, this research serves as a comparison between the new and the conventional mattresses. This involves testing the fire behavior in a realistic environment. So it is not about laboratory tests but about impression tests in a residential environment. On the basis of these objectives the following research questions are defined.
Research question 1:
What is the fire behaviour in a bedroom environment of the new and conventional mattresses of Royal Auping B.V. when exposed to common test ignition sources such as a cigarette and crib 5?
Research question 2:
What is the possibility of escape and survivability in a bedroom environment when only the new or conventional mattress of Royal Auping B.V. is burning?
As mentioned above the purpose is to get an impression of the fire behaviour, possibility of escape and survivability in a bedroom environment. In order to get a good impression a limited number of fire tests (experiments) have been carried out. In addition to this, it should be stated that there is no such thing as a standard bedroom or representative fire scenario. That is why the tests are carried out in a room that resembles a bedroom and a fire scenario that is common in practice. This means that this is a descriptive study to get an impression and does not have the intention to provide a comprehensive description of the fire behaviour, possibility of escape and survivability in the residential environment.