19 Apr, 2022, 09:00 ET
Guidance on protecting upholstered furniture from fire ignition without the use of hazardous flame retardants
ATLANTA, April 19, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Residential fires can be devastating with the loss of life and homes. The National Fire Protection Association stated during 2015-2019, US fire departments responded to an estimated average of 346,800 home structure fires per year with an average of 2,620 civilian deaths. Upholstered furniture has been identified as a leading item to ignite in residential fires that result in tragic deaths.
Through rigorous research, Chemical Insights Research Institute (CIRI) of Underwriters Laboratories has identified that the use of fire barriers in furniture design is an easy and direct way to prevent and delay flaming ignition of upholstered furniture; providing additional time for occupants to evacuate and for first responders to arrive and extinguish the fire, therefore saving lives.
Traditionally, chemical flame retardants have been added to furniture textiles and cushioning to prevent or slow ignition. But with the recognition of human health risks associated with flame retardant usage, alternative fire protection strategies are needed. To help with this important issue, CIRI is releasing several application tools to inform and guide residential interior designers on how to specify a fire barrier without the need for flame retardants in the finished furniture. This win-win application reduces health hazards associated with the use of chemical flame retardants while also reducing the flammability hazards of upholstered furniture.
"We are still seeing too many destructive and life-threatening home fires so intense that occupants only have a few minutes to escape. We want to share our research and suggested strategies related to upholstered furniture with interior designers, specifiers, retailers, and manufacturers so they can make a positive impact in the safety of their clients' homes," said Dr. Marilyn Black, vice president and senior technical advisor at CIRI.
"The scientific research by CIRI provides key information to designers when they are specifying products," said Gary Wheeler, CEO, American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). "With this research, designers are able to support products that will not only look good and perform, but also add to a healthy and safe environment."
Sharing knowledge that protects human health is core to CIRI's mission. That is why they are proud to announce that ASID features Chemical Insights continuing education (CE) course, "Specifying Residential Upholstered Furniture to Safeguard Human Health," and toolkit on its ASID Academy catalog of resources.
This CE course, and other valuable tools, build upon CIRI's ongoing research projects on flame retardants and furniture flammability and their impact on human health.
Chemical Insights Research Institute (CIRI) of Underwriters Laboratories Inc., a nonprofit organization, is dedicated to scientific research, publication, education, and communication on environmental exposures resulting from technologies and practices, their impact on human health and processes for reducing risks. CIRI provides actionable data to help manufacturers, educators, healthcare providers, and consumers make informed environmental health decisions.
Our work lets people around the world know what chemicals are in the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the products we interact with every day. Our leadership role is to provide science or knowledge to implement improved practices, alternative product design, and changes that enable safer products and healthier environments.
To learn more, please visit chemicalinsights.org.
The research institutes of Underwriters Laboratories Inc. are nonprofit organizations dedicated to advancing the Underwriters Laboratories' public safety mission through scientific discovery. With best-in-class experts, we are the world's premier institutes conducting scientific research and exploring the edges of technology to be the first to uncover and act on emerging risks to human safety.
For more information, visit ul.org.
The American Society of Interior Designers believes that design transforms lives. ASID serves the full range of the interior design profession and practice through the Society's programs, networks, and advocacy. We thrive on the strength of cross-functional and interdisciplinary relationships among designers of all specialties, including workplace, healthcare, retail and hospitality, education, institutional, and residential. We lead interior designers in shared conversations around topics that matter, from evidence-based and human centric design to social responsibility, well-being, and sustainability. We showcase the impact of design on the human experience and the value interior designers provide.
ASID was founded over 40 years ago when two organizations became one, but its legacy dates to the early 1930s. As we celebrate nearly 85 years of industry leadership, we are leading the future of interior design, continuing to integrate the advantages of local connections with national reach, of small firms with big, and of the places we live with the places we work, play, and heal. Learn more at asid.org.
Keywords: furniture, fire, furniture fire, upholstered furniture fire barriers, fire barrier, TB 117-2013, fire safe, chemical safe, house fire, home fire, Chemical Insights Research Institute, CIRI, Underwriters Laboratories Inc., ASID, design professionals, interior design, human centric, sustainability, human experience, nonprofit, public safety, emerging risks, research institutes, human safety
SOURCE Chemical Insights Research Institute
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