SP proposes fire classification hierarchy for furniture
In the editorial of Brandposten #55 (page 2), the magazine of RISE (Research Institutes of Sweden, previously SP), Björn Sunderström, highlights the current rise in concern about home fire deaths, pointing to actions or calls by the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) and the Federation of the European Union Fire Officer Associations (FEU).
He reminds that similar calls in the 1990’s led to the major EU furniture fire testing programme CBUF (Combustion Behaviour of Upholstered Furniture) but suggests that legislation did not result “due to a strong lobbying element, the claims of which included assertions that fireproof furniture would require the use of hazardous flame-retardants”. Things seem not to have changed today, despite (pinfa suggests) the development of safer PIN flame retardant solutions. The SP article suggests that one option could be “a classification system, similar to that which exists for surface materials in buildings, that would allow more expensive, high-performance products to be selected for applications that truly require them, and products with lower fire safety requirements to be used in other, less demanding areas. The EU regulation on construction materials works perfectly well, and could easily be adapted for use in this field.” RISE is also working with FEU on an EU-funded project to consult industry, regulators and stakeholders and then propose fire safety testing methods for furniture (Brandposten #55, page 11)“Domestic fires back in the spotlight” and “Focus on the risks presented by furniture fires”, SP Brandposten #55 2017 https://www.sp.se/en/units/risesafe/safety/fire/brandposten/Sidor/default.aspx