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An overview and experimental analysis of furniture fire safety regulations in Europe

Sofa on fire

The regulation requirements for upholstered furniture are nationally defined and lead to very different safety levels across Europe. This paper studies the fire performance of upholstered furniture across Europe and demonstrates the differences in the fire safety of sofas in different countries. Real sofas were purchased over Europe and tested first alone then for several of them in a room scenario. The fire performance of such upholstered furniture is related to their constitution and possibly to the improvement of their performance by physical and/or chemical means. Results are presented from a performance point of view and not focusing on the different technical solutions that can be envisaged, such as fire barriers or flame retardants.

The results clearly show the effect of stricter regulations, not necessarily on the maximum heat release but mainly on the time available to escape, which is critical in many fire scenarios. Such regulations may have a positive effect, but they have to be performance-based, evaluated properly, and implemented considering market surveillance.

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Guillaume E, de Feijter R, van Gelderen L. An overview and experimental analysis of furniture fire safety regulations in Europe. Fire and Materials. 2020;1–16. https://doi.org/10.1002/fam.2826
Efectis France, Espace Technologique, Saint-Aubin Cedex, France
Efectis Nederland, Bleiswijk, The Netherlands

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