Calling all interior designers, project managers, trade managers and buyers, Crib 5 should be on your radar. If it’s not, do not fear, we’re here to help. It’s vital all of the furnishings selected for your project meets UK Fire Regulations, which can differ depending on the setting.
So, in this blog, we’ve gone through everything you need to know about Crib 5: from its background, residential FR and commercial FR, and whether you need Crib 5 or not.
In years gone by, fire-resistant, natural materials including horse hair were used as cushion fillings for upholstery. However, in an effort to make furniture affordable, natural material fillings were replaced by foam which were flammable, emitting toxic fumes when alight. As a result, the number of fires and fatalities caused by these fires rose sharply. In 1979, an electrical fire at a Woolworths in Manchester caused the release of toxic fumes from upholstery stacked close to the origin of the fire. One of the results of this disaster, was the creation of the UK Fire Regulations Act 1988.
For residential properties, the key tests for furniture to pass are known as Cigarette & Match (C&M), or BS 5852: Source 0 & 1. In these tests, lit cigarettes and matches are held in test rig comprised of foam and fabric (which is done to replicate a section of upholstery). The fabric will pass C&M where a flame or prolonged smouldering is not seen. This fabric is deemed safe for purpose and recorded as “no ignition”.
Crib 5 or to use its technical British Standard name, BS5852:1990:Source 5, is a test which assesses flammability of furniture in relation to commercial settings. The term Crib 5 is thrown around a lot in the hospitality industry, as passing this test is fundamental for furniture to be placed in a variety of hospitality and leisure environments.
In the Crib 5 test, a wooden “crib” comprised of timber sections glued together with a lint base and propane-diol is placed on the test rig (as above) lit. If no flame, or continued smouldering, is seen then the test is recorded as “no ignition” and the fabric passes the Crib 5 test.
Do you need Crib 5?
Commercial and hospitality businesses must adhere to UK Fire Regulations Act 1988, so it’s best to check with your furniture manufacturer to which standard their furniture is treated. Manufacturers will ensure their products have passed all necessary tests before purchasing. If you’re involved in the below sectors, you may need your furniture to pass Crib 5:
- Offices & Commercial Settings
- Bed & Breakfasts
- Hostels & Guest Houses
- Holiday Parks
- Rental and Property Management
- Student Accommodation
If you’re unsure whether Crib 5 is needed in addition to Cigarette & Match for your project, contact the insurance company linked to your project, or the local Fire Officer, who can advise.
We offer Crib 5 options in Vine, Teal, Pumice and Shadow across our entire collection, so please reach out to our trade team to discuss further – email firstname.lastname@example.org or call him on 07375 304744.