Fire Safety in the Bedroom this Autumn

Oct 3, 2022 | Bedroom Environment

When we think about autumn, we picture crunchy leaves underfoot, steaming hot drinks, communal bonfires, woodsmoke in the air, and dusting off the candles to illuminate our homes.

As we embrace the new season and spend more time indoors keeping warm, it is a valuable opportunity to educate yourself about the small but important actions you can take to keep your home safe from fires, particularly the bedroom.

Did you know that a mattress – particularly one containing non-flame retardant foam – can become an inferno of flames and poisonous gases within three to four minutes?

While most UK bed manufacturers produce safe, compliant products that are what they say they are, some rogue traders try to pass off inferior products as luxury items or worse – unsafe and unhygienic mattresses.

How can I be sure my new bed is safe and meets all the flammability regulations?

Be wary of buying very cheap mattresses or ones from the back of a van that may be using fake flammability labels. Remember – if something appears too good to be true, it usually is! Watch our video on the white van scam below!

Always check your new bed has a fire label sewn in, which refers to BS7177 – the British safety specification for resistance to ignition of mattresses, divans and bed bases.

Bed Advice UK How to fire-proof your bedroom this Fire Prevention Week

Secondly, look for the NBF NBF-approved tick label. The ‘Made by an approved NBF member’ is given to National Bed Federation (NBF) approved members that have undergone rigorous independent auditing. The testing certifies that they comply with strict regulations on flammability, cleanliness of fillings and trade descriptions and meet other important legal requirements relating to the manufacture of their products.  

The NBF champions good practice and high standards in the UK bed industry because everyone wants a great night’s sleep with total peace of mind.

Find out more about fire retardant (FR) chemicals in our FAQs.

Other points to consider for fire safety in the bedroom:

  • Avoid smoking in bed or while lying on the sofa so you don’t accidentally fall asleep with a lit cigarette.
  • Close bedroom doors. House fires spread quickly and closing bedroom doors at night can create fire protection.
  • Be careful with candles – especially around curtains and bedding – and make sure candles are put out before going to sleep. Ideally, keep candles out of the bedroom.
  • Keep flammable products like hairspray in a cool dark cupboard.
  • Unplug all unnecessary electrical appliances.
  • Be aware that reading lamps with spotlights can cause bedclothes to catch fire if they come into contact.
  • Check your smoke alarms regularly and replace them every 10 years.


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