Full scale fire tests of standard bed mattresses in Korea show that heat release reaches 3 MW in less than five minutes, reaching 1000°C. The standard mattresses tested only allow 2-3 minutes for occupants to escape and the authors conclude that it is important “to prevent the ignition … or to adopt a flame retardant bed mattress.” Flames reached a height of over 3m after just three minutes and by then the thick black smoke released made it impossible to see the flame.
Such conditions are liable to lead to “flashover” in the room and the room untenable for occupants. Three mattresses were tested, all standard, Korean, non flame-retarded pocket-spring mattresses 1.1 x 2 x 0.28m, ignited by a small flame (ISO 12949). The authors note that 5.5% of residential fires in Korea start in the bedroom and that fires starting in other rooms can spread to bedrooms, so that the fire risks of mattresses are important.
“Flame Spread Mechanism through Analysis of Fire Behavior of Bed Mattress by the ISO 12949 Test”, J. Asian Architecture and Building Engineering, K-W Park et al. Sept. 2015 http://doi.org/10.3130/jaabe.14.725