Information about BS 5852:Part 2:1982

Fire test of uphostered furnitures.


Fire tests for furniture – Part 2. Methods of test for the ignitability of upholstered composites for seating by flaming sources.

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 different ignition sources of gas flames and small wooden cribs. The thermal output of the ignition sources shall approximate a burning match to four sheets of a full size newspaper.

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, 2-3 pieces with the dimensions 1100 x 650 mm.

Filling, 2-3 pieces with the dimensions 450 x 450 x 75 mm.
Filling, 2-3 pieces with the dimensions 450 x 300 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. There are six different ignition sources, numbered 2-7. ignition sources 2-3 are gas flames and ignition sources 4-7 are wooden cribs (the higher number the larger gas flame/crib).

During the gas flame tests the test assembly is not allowed to smoulder for more than 30 minutes from the start of the test (60 minutes for wooden cribs). The test assembly is not allowed to show evidence of charring more than 100 mm in any direction apart from upwards from the ignition source. The gas flames are removed after 40 seconds (ignition source 2) or 70 seconds (ignition source 3). No flaming is allowed to continue for more than 120 seconds after removal of the burner tube. No flaming is allowed to continue for more than 10 minutes after start of the test with ignition source 5 (13 minutes with ignition source 6-7).



Related Information


Fire testing – furniture and furnishing

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