Posted on 07/11/2018 in Furniture & Textiles 2018
Controversy over furniture fire smoke study

A four page article in FSTB by A. Morgan, fire safety group leader at University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI) and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Fire Sciences (JFS), questions the conclusions of the recent study by McKenna, Stec, Hull et al. on domestic furniture smoke emissions (see pinfa Newsletter n°87). This study was based on one or two full scale fire tests of four mock-up full scale sofas. Dr Morgan argues that results were not comparable, because of different wind and humidity conditions during the tests and that the use of a larger flame source than in the UK furniture regulations (crib7 instead of crib5) is confusing, so that results do not justify the paper’s claim that “flame retardants … increase smoke toxicity”. He notes that “halogenated flame retardants, due to how they work in a flame, will create more non-combusted products and more smoke” but that materials which char can have both low heat release and reduced toxic gas emissions. He suggests that the paper’s conclusions show that “Flame retardants in UK furniture can be overwhelmed by stronger fire sources and may not address all fire hazards”

FSTB Fire Safety & Technical Bulletin, GBH International, February 2018,

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