Upholstered Furniture as a Cause of Fires

For many business owners, one task that really allows for creativity is the decorating and design of the business space. The feeling that a customer gets when he or she walks into a store, restaurant or a building shouldn't be underestimated. Many customers often build first impressions on those very feelings, and those feelings can be the basis of their choice to spend their money there. Several things contribute to a particular 'atmosphere', but for sure, the decor is definitely one of them. The flip side of that is that many times, when it comes to fires, decorations can be the first things to either contribute to the start of fires or to go up in flames themselves, upholstery in particular.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) conducted a study from 2010-2014 of fires where upholstered furniture was involved. This research analyzed home fires, but the data gathered from this investigation easily applies to office fires too, as upholstered furniture is common in business spaces as well.

During that study period, over 5300 fires transpired yearly where upholstered furniture was the first thing to ignite. As an outcome of these fires, 440 people died and 700 people sustained injuries. Additionally, the sum of the property damage in these fires was $269 million each year. A startling contrast is seen in this statistic: fires involving upholstered furniture were just 2% of the total, yet resulted in 18% of the casualties from home fires.

Smoking materials were the principal thing that ignited the upholstery, with 1 death for every 6.6 fires. Heaters also played a significant role as fire starters - both portable and fixed -  a factor in 11% of the fires. Candles, lighters, and matches played a part in fires 20% of the time while electrical issues -  appliances as well as electrical panels and lighting - contributed to 12% of the fires.

So what should business owners learn from this? First, the factors in home fires where upholstered furniture was involved also apply to business spaces as well. The same catalyst that began these fires in the residential spaces could also ignite them at a place of business. This only underscores why flameproofing is so critical. If those pieces of upholstery had been treated with flame repellents, they would not have contributed to the severity of the fire and loss of life.

At Brooklyn Flameproofing, we know firsthand the life-saving impact of flameproofing. While it’s a legal necessity for all business properties to have specific items treated with fire retardants, it truly does offer maximum protection to both employees and customers in the event of a fire. If you have need of flameproofing treatments, we’d be pleased to provide it to you. Please call today to ask questions or set up a free, no-obligation estimate: 800-401-5415.


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