Fire Safety in the Bedroom

Jun 12, 2023 | Bedroom Environment

It’s important to take some simple yet significant steps to ensure our homes are safe from fires, especially in the bedroom, which surprisingly, is a common place for fires to start. Did you know that a mattress, especially those made of foam and without any fire-retardant properties, can catch fire and turn into a raging inferno within three to four minutes?

While the vast majority of UK bed manufacturers produce safe, compliant and “as described” products, there are dodgy traders who try to pass off inferior products as ‘luxury’ items, or worse – unsafe and unhygienic mattresses.

So, since you often can’t tell just by looking, how can you be sure you are going to buy a bed that is safe and meets all the flammability regulations?

Firstly, be wary of buying very cheap mattresses or ones from the back of a van that may be using fake flammability labels. Remember the adage – if something appears too good to be true, it usually is!

Secondly, 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. This means the manufacturer claims they have had it independently tested to meet the UK flammability regulations.

NBF Approved MemberFinally, look for our NBF-approved tick label. It’s given to bed manufacturer that have been approved by the National Bed Federation (NBF).

NBF-approved manufacturers have all undergone rigorous independent testing to certify that they comply with regulatory requirements – not just flammability, but also how clean the mattress fillings are and if the product is everything it claims to be in the description.

Other points to consider for bedroom fire safety:

  • Check your smoke alarms regularly and replace them every 10 years.
  • 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 they are properly 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.

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

This post was first published 19.11.19 and has since been updated and republished on 09.05.24.

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