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FIRA International invests in new flammability testing equipment

FIRA carries out flammability testing for approximately 150 furniture products and components a week
FIRA undertakes flammability testing for both domestic and contract market items

FIRA International has invested in two new pieces of equipment for its world-renowned furniture testing centre to ensure greater accuracy during flammability testing.

The two new flow meters contribute to the furniture flammability ‘match test’, in which a flame replicating that of a match is applied to a furniture product or material to assess how it reacts to fire. The flow meter works by regulating the flow of gas supplied during the test, to ensure that the desired calorific output of the flame is achieved and maintained correctly.

Current flammability test requirements specify that the gas must be supplied at a flow of 45±2ml/min and at 25ºC (tolerance agreed by labs),

FIRA’s new flow meters ensures that the flow rate is kept well within the specified tolerances.

FIRA’s Technical Specialist for Flammability and Physical Upholstery, Steven Cotton said, “Ensuring that we offer our clients the best testing service possible is extremely important to us. The addition of the two new flow meters will ensure that our flammability testing will be carried out with even greater accuracy and reliability.”

FIRA undertakes flammability testing for items that are destined for both the domestic and contract markets. There is a series of standards and regulations applicable to the flammability of furniture, with different items of furniture having exact requirements to ensure product safety. FIRA’s experts are able to advise on the test methods which must be carried out to ensure a product fulfils furniture and furnishings fire and safety regulations before it reaches the market.

Videos demonstrating how a match test is carried out on a fabric can be found on FIRA’s  website: The two videos show the difference between a flame being applied to fire retardant material in comparison to application to a non-fire retardant material.

FIRA carry out flammability testing on approximately 50 - 150 furniture products and components a week, ensuring that they reach a wide range of flammability safety standards. As well as the match test, FIRA also carries out tests involving the application of small burning wooden structures, known as cribs, to products and also cigarette burn tests. Flammability testing is performed on fabrics, foams, structures and complete items of furniture.

Aside from flammability testing, FIRA International conducts a whole host of furniture and furniture component testing methods at its Stevenage-based head quarters. This includes materials, upholstery and structural testing. For more information on the range of testing carried out by FIRA, please visit

For more information on FIRA International and the FIRA Testing Centre please contact the FIRA team on 01438 777 700 or visit

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