Information about BS 5852:Part 1:1979

Fire test of upholstered composites for seating.


Fire tests for furniture – Part 1. Methods of test for the ignitability by smokers’ materials of upholstered composites for seating.

Why test according to this standard?

The standard is used to assess the ignitability of material combinations, such as covers and fillings used in upholstered seating, when subjected to a smouldering cigarette and a match flame equivalent as ignition source.

In United Kingdom all items of domestic upholstered furniture must meet the “Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988” with amendments.

Example of materials that can be tested according to this standard

Combinations of covering and filling materials that are used in upholstered furniture.

Covers/fabrics can also be tested in combination with standard fillings.

Sample dimensions

Complete test with 1 ignition source

Cover/interliner/wadding, 2 pieces with the dimensions 800 x 650 mm.

Filling, 2 pieces with the dimensions 450 x 300 x 75 mm.
Filling, 2 pieces with the dimensions 450 x 150 x 75 mm.

The thickness of 75 mm regards the filling together with any wadding.

If the filling differs between the seat, back, armrests, etc. all fillings must be tested seperately.

Indicative test

One piece each of the above stated material.

Testing according to the British furniture regulation

Amount of material as well as dimensions may differ depending on the schedule to be tested.


According to the British furniture regulation, all interliners and cover fabrics that have been treated with a flame retardant, shall go through a water soaking procedure before testing.

Short test description

The tests are performed in a test cabinet with a calibrated air flow. The cover fabric and the filling are put in a test rig to create a small sofa with a 90º angle between seat and back. The ignition sources are located in the junction between seat and back.

During the cigarette test the test assembly is not allowed to smoulder after one hour from the beginning of the test.

The test assembly is subjected to a gas flame equivalent to a match flame for 20 seconds. No flaming is allowed to continue for more than 120 seconds after removal of the burner tube.


Related Information


Fire testing – furniture and furnishing

Business Areas

RISE Safety and Transport

Contact Persons

Anna Bergstrand

Phone: +46 10 516 58 54

Per Thureson

Phone: +46 10 516 50 83

RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Phone 010-516 50 00, E-mail

The RISE institutes SP, Innventia and Swedish ICT have merged in order to become a stronger research and innovation partner for businesses and society.
During 2017 will be one of several websites within RISE. Please visit for more information about RISE.