office chairs need to be fire resistant

Fire safety should always be at the forefront of any company. Companies need to ensure that they have the right equipment and facilities in place to ensure the safety of all of their employees. This blog is a discussion of whether office chairs need to be fire resistant.

Most workplaces have very strict rules about the type of furniture and equipment used in their offices. They often follow very strict guidelines laid down by local building regulations and also nationally. 

Laws relating to the fire safety for furniture including office chairs vary from country to country. Some of the rules relating to fire safety can be found in BS fire safety codes. This blog will look at the rules regarding office chairs in the Uk and USA.

Furniture Safety Rules and Regulations in the UK

Yes, office chairs need to be fire-resistant according to FFFSR (Furniture Furnishings fire safety Regulations) Act 188/1989, 1993, and 2010 in the UK. It has set levels of fire resistance for domestic upholstered furniture, furnishings, and other furniture that have upholstery.

The FFFSR act covers upholstery, Filling materials, cover, and labels. This act requires the furniture(except beds, mattresses, pillows, and cushions) to have fire retardant materials by passing through some ignition tests.

Upholstery: 

Use of Polyurethane foam which passes the cigarette test. A manufacturer cannot use any upholstery material that does not pass the cigarette test. 

Check out the FFFSR Act on Upholstery

Fabric:

Use of Polyester fiber fabric which is 100% flame retardant. The law also recommends the use of a fire retardant chemical on the fabric which reduces the ignitability of the upholstery used in the office chair.

Check this FFFSR act on the type of Fabric

Filling Material:

You should use filling materials that pass the ignitability test. It discourages to use of crumbled fillings unless the crumb or the material from which the crumb is made passes the ignitability test.

Check out this FFFSR act on Filling Materials and types

Covers:

If you are using a cotton, woolen, or silk cover on top of your furniture then the cover material should pass the matching test.

Use of Labels 

The FFFSR act requires manufacturers to use permanent labels on furniture. These labels shall fulfill certain criteria like,

  1. Include Words like ‘’Carelessness Causes Fire’’
  2. All details relating to the furniture like the Place of manufacturing, batch no, date of manufacturing or import, 
  3. Menton the filling material and covering fabric used
  4. It requires the manufacturer to put separate labels on each piece of a set of furniture.
  5. Include information if an interlinear is used in that piece of furniture

Check out this FFSR Act on Use of Labels on different Furniture

The objective of the FFSSR act in the UK is to have furniture that has a lesser chance of spreading the fire. And to ensure this a cigarette test is conducted to test the effect of upholstery and the fabric when a fire is placed on them.

A fire retardant upholstery and fabric will not spread the fire but stop within the chair.

Furniture Safety Rules and Regulations in the USA

In our research, we found out that many states in the US have laid a furniture compliance framework that prescribes the use of certain materials and restricts the use of some.

National Fire Protection Association

The NFPA is a No-profit organization that works has laid safety regulations, and protocols for different manufacturers for fire safety. It also includes fire safety protocols relating to furniture. 

It tests the resistance of upholstery furniture to cigarette ignition. A fire retardant upholstery will be able to protect lives and property.

Check out this Regulation on their site- NFPA

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