Crib 5

In the Know | What is Crib 5?

In the Know: What is Crib 5?

In hospitality venues (as in public spaces, education facilities etc), all furniture and materials must meet UK fire prevention regulations. With regard to upholstery fabrics and the materials associated with them, there are three levels of testing involved. The Crib 5, or Ignition Source 5, test is the most stringent, hence materials needing to pass this, in order to be certified. Providing that the materials meet the specifications, the venue will be awarded a Crib 5 specification.

All materials must undergo three tests, Crib 5 being the final test before certification.

  • Test 1: Cigarette test

A smouldering cigarette is applied to the material

  • Test 2: Match test

The equivalent of a burning match is applied to the material

  • Test 3: Crib 5 test

What does the Crib 5 test involve?

The test gets its name from the crib-like structure that is used to carry out the fire check. The structure is made of wooden planks that are glued together and must be five tiers in height (hence the ‘5’). The structure is then set alight underneath the upholstery material, plus any cushioning or foam that would normally be used alongside the lining. In order to pass the test, the material must not catch fire or smoulder and the flames must extinguish within 10 minutes.

Where is Crib 5 specification required?

Crib 5 is required for every UK contract venue. The following is a list of the venues that must have Crib 5, however, it’s advisable to check with the Fire Safety Officer to understand the specific requirements for your venue.

  • Educational spaces
  • Workplaces
  • Hotels
  • Museums
  • Leisure facilities – cinemas/casinos/spas etc
  • Hostels
  • Public buildings
  • Pubs and bars
  • Restaurants and cafes
  • Care and retirement homes
  • Hospitals

Fire retardant (FR) materials

Some materials – such as wool and glass fibers – are flame retardant, while others – such as cotton, linen and synthetic materials – require specialist treatment with a fire-retardant chemical coating. Once a material is fire retardant it will resist ignition, which gives valuable time in the event of a fire to evacuate the venue and deal with the source of the fire. It is important to note that not all fabrics are suitable for treatment; some will require wool felt interliners to be used (as wool is fire-retardant).

Can pre-upholstered furniture be treated?

Material must be fire-retardant treated before upholstering. For this reason, at Inside Out Contracts, we offer the option of COM (customer’s own material) for the majority of our furniture collection.

Does Crib 5 protection wear away?

The fire-retardant coating is permanent. It is applied behind the fabric so there is no need to apply additional treatments in the future.

Does outdoor furniture need to meet Crib 5 requirements?

The term ‘outdoor’ furniture actually encompasses quite a wide range of locations and uses. In the strictest sense, it refers to garden or patio – or open-air – products. However, the term is increasingly used to include conservatory-style furniture, in which case Crib 5 would automatically apply. However, if your outdoor furniture is moved or stored inside, even occasionally, it will also need to be Crib 5 compliant. And, with fire pits, patio heaters and pizza ovens becoming more popular in venues, risk assessment will need to be carried out for these too. If there is any chance that any products will be used in an enclosed area, they must all be Crib 5.

Who regulates fire retardancy certification?

Certification is regulated by the Fire Industry Research Association (FIRA).

How can you check if a fabric is Crib 5 certified?

All the fabrics that we supply at Inside Out Contracts are Crib 5 certified. If you are selecting and providing your own material for your furniture, you will need to check that the fabric manufacturer displays a fire retardancy rating on the material. For Crib 5 certification, you’re looking for a number ‘5’ alongside a flame and cigarette symbol.

You might have questions relating to Crib 5 certification and how to choose the right materials for your venue. If that’s the case, please don’t hesitate to contact our account managers. They will be able to answer your queries and advise on suitable fabric and material choices.

Do you have a question?

Either ask a question in this form or you can request a call with one of our creative furniture experts today.

Let us know when is the best time and method to contact you and we will get in touch to discuss your query or project.

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Inside Out Contracts
Building 16, 42 Creek Road, London SE8 3FN
Sales: +44(0)20 8305 3130
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