Wholesale distributor of upholstery grade fabric, vinyl supplies and polyurethane foam to the upholstery trade

Grand Rapids, MI - (800)-253-3800

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Flame Codes



UFAC – Upholstered Furniture Action Council

This test is also known as the “Cigarette Test”. The purpose of this test is to classify the fabric on its inclination to resist ignition due to cigarettes when tested in combination with standard foam cushioning material. Test pieces of the materials (fabric and foam) are upholstered onto a simulation test chair. A lit cigarette is then placed in the crevice of the chair, where the back and the seat meet. A piece of cotton sheeting fabric is placed over-top of the cigarette to intensify the heat. The test records whether or not ignition occurred and also the extent of vertical burn or char length on the back section of the seat assembly.


CAL 117 – California Technical Bulletin 117, Section E (CS 191-53)

The procedure for this test is in accordance with the same testing procedures as CS 191-53. The test uses a 2”x 6” model which is placed in a test rig at a 45 degree angle. The surface of the test model is touched by a 5/8” long pencil-thin flame for a period of 1 second. The rating criteria are simple. The model will “Pass” (did not ignite) or it will “Fail” (ignites). 


NFPA 260 – National Fire Protection Association

Standard methods of tests and classification system for cigarette ignition resistance of components of upholstered furniture.


NFPA 701 – Standard methods of fire tests for flame propagation of textiles and films.

Also known as the “Vertical Burn” test. The test covers the following materials: Upholstery fabrics, curtains, window shades, draperies, table linens, textile wall hangings, awnings, tents, tarps, blankets, sheets, bedspreads, and mattress ticking. The fabric being tested is a sample piece of 3.5”x 10”. The sample is placed in a vertical position while a test flame is held to the lower edge for 12 seconds before being removed. The test requires that any after-flame must be extinguished within 2 seconds of the removal of the test flame, that no flaming drippings touch the testing floor, and that the char length be limited according to the specific weight of the fabric being tested.



CAL 117 has been depracted as of January 1st 2015, the standard is now called CAL TB 117-2013

CAL 117 – California Technical Bulletin 117 – Section E (CS 191-53)

Mandatory testing for polyurethane foam materials used in residential upholstered furniture using both open flame testing and cigarette testing. These tests are conducted in specific laboratory conditions and the results cannot be used as demonstration of the performance of furnishings containing CAL 117 foam in flammability tests nor in actual fire conditions. Foam is tested without any contaminates, which includes adhesives. PLEASE NOTE: All polyurethane foams will burn if exposed to a sufficiently intense heat source. The combustion characteristics of polyurethane foam can be altered during production if the formulations are changed to include flame retardants or other additives. All polyurethane foams, whether they contain flame retardants or not, should be handled accordingly.

CAL TB 117-2013

The new standard has been modified and the Polyurethane Foam Assocation released a statement that has the follwoing quotation.

"California TB 117-2013 eliminates the open flame test for upholstery components including filling materials, such as flexible polyurethane foam, and revises the smolder resistance requirements. The standard covers upholstery cover fabrics and filling materials and tests the interaction of the materials that go into a piece of upholstered furniture. The use of barrier materials is required only if cover fabrics and/or filling materials fail their corresponding tests. The standard also establishes a smolder test requirement for foam sold for use as uncovered mattress pad products with related label requirements. In addition, California Senate Bill 1019 (SB 1019) requires additional information to be displayed on items covered by TB 117-2013 to indicate whether upholstery materials contain added flame retardant chemicals (FRs)."





FAR 25.853 (b) – Federal Aviation Regulations

Regulations for compartment interiors of aircrafts that are occupied by the crew or passengers. Materials tested include: floor covering, draperies, seat cushions, upholstery fabrics (decorative and non-decorative coated fabrics). This regulation tests the performance of self-extinguish of material under fire condition. A sample size of 76 mm width is placed vertically and is tested for the following results: burning length, flame time and dropping time.


MVSS #302 – Motor Vehicle Standard

Also known as the “Horizontal Burn” test. This standard of testing is currently being used by the automotive industry for testing fabrics used in motor vehicles. A sample of 4”x14”x.5” is placed in a horizontal position. A 1.5” high flame is used applied to one end of the sample material for 15 seconds. Timing starts once the flame reaches 1.5” away from the starting ending and is stopped once the flame is 1.5” away from the opposite end of the test sample. This time is used to determine the burn rate. The burn rate must not exceed 4”/min to receive a “Pass” rating. If the material extinguishes itself before burning for 60 seconds since the start of the test and has no progressed more than 2 inches from the timed start point, the standard is considered fulfilled.