In the Know | Fire safety regulations

Products
- Oct 29, 2020

At Inside Out we ensure that all of the furniture that we design and supply meets the UK's fire-retardant requirements to create a safe environment, which, incidentally, are some of the most stringent safety regulations in the world.


The rules around fire safety regulations can be littered with jargon that isn't always easy to understand for everybody, so we thought we would take a moment to explain them clearly.

Some materials are more flame-retardant, such as wool and glass fibers, and may not need treatment to meet the safety requirements. Other materials such as cotton, linen, acetate, and synthetic materials such as nylon and acrylic are much more flammable and will require treatments. In the UK fire retardant (FR) requirements are met by placing flame-retardant treatments on products and water soaking fabrics so that the FR treatment is permanent.

These treatments and products have vigorous flammability testing to ensure that they work. There are 8 ignition sources recognised and tested:

  • Ignition source 0 is a cigarette
  • Ignition source 2 is a match
  • Ignition source 5 is known as Crib 5 and is 16 times more intense than a match.

UK regulations say that a product must meet Crib 5.


Here is a breakdown of the UK's safety tests and what they mean:

  • BS 7176 - This test specifies whether fabrics are low hazard, medium, high hazard or very high hazard.
  • EN 1021 - This test deals with ignition source 0 and ignition source 1.
  • BS 5852 - This test deals with ignition source 5 (Crib 5).

In the UK products must pass EN 1021 and BS 5852 with BS7176 available on request.