A report from NFPA (US National Fire Protection Association) updates statistics concerning involvement of upholstered furniture in domestic fires. In the USA, 2010-2014, over 5 600 fires per year necessitating fire service intervention started in upholstered furniture, leading to 440 deaths, 700 hospitalisations and US$ 270 direct property damage annually.
This does not include consequences of fires starting in other items and accelerating or spreading through combustion of furniture. The leading cause of fires in furniture was smokers’ materials (27%) followed by electrical (distribution wiring or leads, lighting). The report underlines that the number of fires starting in upholstered furniture have fallen very considerably since 1980 (-85%). It is noted that by 2001 around 30% of US home domestic furniture had ignition resistant covering fabrics, but that the impact of changing fire safety requirements for furniture are only slowly visible in statistics because much of furniture in homes is 5 – 15 years old. pinfa notes that therefore the impacts of recent downgrading of upholstered furniture fire safety standards in California are thus a concern for the future.
“Home Fires That Began with Upholstered Furniture”, M. Ahrens, February 2017 http://www.nfpa.org/news-and-research/fire-statistics-and-reports/fire-statistics/fire-causes/household-products/upholstered-furniture