Mattress Fire Safety and Crib 7 in High Hazard Environments

#Mattresses
Read Time: 5 minutes

All mattresses sold in the UK are subject to a series of fire safety standards. The more hazardous the environment, the more fire safety standards the mattress has to meet. This guide explains fire safety mattresses, fire standards, testing processes and takes an in-depth look at crib 7 and flame-retardant mattresses for high/very high hazard environments.

Mattress fire safety standards and how they are tested

There are three main tests that measure a mattress against a standard. All the tests are performed in a test cabinet with a calibrated air flow. The test mattress sample is located on top of a steel rig and depending on the finish of the mattress, ignition sources are located on the flat mattress surface, at tape edges, at quilted locations or tufts.

These are the three mattress fire safety standards and how they are tested:

BS EN 597-1:2015: Smouldering cigarette test

A smouldering cigarette is placed on the surface of the mattress sample. The mattress is not allowed to smoulder after one hour from the beginning of the test. Flaming ignition of the material is also not allowed.

BS EN 597-2:2015: Match flame equivalent test

The mattress sample is subjected to a gas flame equivalent to a match flame for 15 seconds. No flaming is allowed to continue for more than 120 seconds after removal of the burner tube.

BS 6807:2006: Gas flame or fire crib test

When testing whether a mattress meets the BS 6807:2006 standard, ignition sources are located on the surface and also on a specified distance below the mattress sample. There are six different ignition sources numbered 2-7. Ignition sources 2-3 are gas flames and ignition sources 4-7 are wooden cribs (pictured to the right). The higher the number, the larger the gas flame/crib.

During the gas flame tests, the mattress sample is not allowed to smoulder for more than 15 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 100mm in any horizontal direction from the nearest part of the ignition source. The gas flames are removed after 40 seconds for ignition source 2 or 70 seconds for ignition source 3. No flaming is allowed to continue for more than 120 seconds after removal of the burner tube. For ignition source/crib 4-5, no flaming is allowed to continue for more than 10 minutes after start of the test. This is 13 minutes for ignition source/crib 6-7.

Testing Crib
Wooden crib used for testing

The mattress fire safety standards required for end use environments

Mattresses have to meet standards based on the type of environment they will be used in. Mattresses for low hazard environments such as domestic homes are understandably subject to much less stringent testing than for high and very risk environments such as hospitals and prisons. End use environments are categorised into the following hazard types:

Mattress Fire Domestic Home

Low hazard

Requirements

  • Resistant to ignition with source – smouldering cigarette of BS EN 597-1:2015
  • Resistant to ignition with source – match flame equivalent of BS EN 597-2:2015

Environment examples

  • Domestic dwellings
  • Non-motorised caravans
Mattress Fire University

Medium hazard

Requirements

  • Resistant to ignition with source – smouldering cigarette of BS EN 597-1:2015
  • Resistant to ignition with source – match flame equivalent of BS EN 597-2:2015
  • Resistant to ignition with crib/source 5 of BS 6807:2006

Environment examples

  • Care homes and day centres
  • Hotels and hostels
  • Holiday camp chalets
  • Boarding and residential schools
  • Universities and college dormitories
Mattress Fire Offshore Rig

High hazard

Requirements

  • Resistant to ignition with source – smouldering cigarette of BS EN 597-1:2015
  • Resistant to ignition with source – match flame equivalent of BS EN 597-2:2015
  • Resistant to ignition with crib/source 7 of BS 6807:2006

Environment examples

  • Certain  care homes
  • Certain hospital wards
  • Off-shore installations
  • High hazard hotels and hostels
Mattress Fire Prisons

Very high hazard

Requirements

  • Resistant to ignition with source – smouldering cigarette of BS EN 597-1:2015
  • Resistant to ignition with source – match flame equivalent of BS EN 597-2:2015
  • Resistant to ignition with crib/source 7 of BS 6807:2006
  • Additional tests specified by the user with greater than high hazard requirements

Environment examples

  • Prison cells
  • Locked psychiatric accommodation

Crib 7/ignition source 7 mattresses for high/very high hazard environments

Mattresses for high/very high hazard environments have to meet all three fire safety standards. They have to be resistant to ignition with crib/source 7 of BS 6807:2006, the most demanding of all of the tests.

Which public sector services require crib 7 mattresses?

Public services that require these fire resistant, crib/source 7 mattresses include facilities such as prisons, challenging behaviour units, high secure hospital wards and also off-shore sites.

The importance of crib/source 7 cover and core

Most mattresses that pass the crib/source 7 test of the BS 6807:2006 standard only do so because the mattress cover has passed the test. Once fire has penetrated the cover, the foam core often offers very little resistance to fire leaving high secure units at significant risk of fire spreading.

The Opera® Secure 7 mattress by Alpine HC has a crib/source 7 tested cover and foam core. This ensures maximum resistance to fire and the risk of fire spreading is greatly reduced.

Opera Secure 7 Crib 7 Mattress

When specifying fire safety mattresses, it is important that secure unit operators and proprietors consider the importance of having mattresses with crib/source 7 cover and core. The significant reduction of fire spread is invaluable and has the potential to save hundreds of lives. Find out more…

View the Opera® Secure 7 Mattress

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