Upholstered Furniture

Some cities and states have their own regulation standards for upholstered furniture. Among the strictest states are California, Massachusetts, and New York. New York City and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey are two other jurisdictions with strict regulations.

A cigarette ignition test analyzes the smoldering resistance of an upholstered finish. This nonflame test uses a lit cigarette to see how a product will smolder before either flaming or extinguishing. It is used to test individual samples and mock-ups, and is especially important for seating using padding or foam.

Most smolder tests, including NFPA 260 and CAL 116, are pass/fail tests that measure the char size left on the fabric. CAL 117 is a smolder test that assigns a rating from A to E to a furniture mock-up. There is a similar test for mattresses and mattress pads, the Standard for the Flammability of Mattresses (FF4072), which is a federal government regulation.

California Technical Bulletin #133, more commonly known as TB 133 and CAL 133, is one of the most innovative and restrictive tests to date; CAL 133 is a pass/ fail test of a whole piece of furniture (Fig. 44-1). It originally applied to furniture used in public spaces in California, including any area or room with ten or more articles of seating furniture, but requiring CAL 133 is becoming more common throughout the country and in more occupancies.

California Technical Bulletin #133 is a flameresistance test that measures the carbon monoxide, heat

generation, smoke, temperature, and weight loss of an entire piece of furniture. It aims to eliminate the flashover of a fire's second phase, when the fire may explode and simultaneously ignite surrounding rooms and corridors. Manufacturers are responsible for having their furniture tested and labeled. The test does not approve individual materials for individual uses.

The interior designer must select furniture passing CAL 133 when required. California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Ohio, Washington, and Wisconsin are among the states requiring furniture to pass CAL 133. Required spaces include public spaces and occupancies classified as high risk where occupants have limited or restricted mobility.

Some upholstered furniture may require only a smolder resistance test. Some jurisdictions that require CAL 133 for new upholstery accept CAL 117 for re-upholstered pieces and built-in seating. Both smolder test and CAL 133 test results improve with certain fabric back-coatings, interliners, fire blockers, and specially rated foams.

Many manufacturers offer CAL-133 compliant products. All members of both the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers (BIFMA) and the American Furniture Manufacturers Association (AFMA) are required to do so. Buildings with sprinklers are not always required to have CAL 133 tested furniture. If a fire occurs, the lack of tested furniture may, however, be a liability issue. Hence it may be appropriate to use a CAL 133 compliant product even when it is not required.

Manufacturers must decide how to assemble furniture to meet CAL 133. They may provide a fire block liner between the foam and the upholstery, or use flame-retardant foam. A fire block liner may reduce the price, so specifying one may help. Specifying a special fabric or customer's own material (COM) will change CAL 133 test results on a piece of furniture. The cost of retesting by the manufacturer may be passed on to the interior designer. The lead-time or length of production may be extended.

How To Sell Furniture

How To Sell Furniture

Types Of Furniture To Sell. There are many types of products you can sell. You just need to determine who your target market is and what specific item they want. Or you could sell a couple different ones in a package deal.

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