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TEST METHODS: >> Standard Methods of Tests

Copyright 1998 NFPA, All Rights Reserved

This edition of NFPA 260, Standard Methods of Tests and Classification System for Cigarette Ignition Resistance of Components of Upholstered Furniture, was prepared by the Technical Committee on Fire Tests and acted on by the National Fire Protection Association, Inc., at its Annual Meeting held May 18-21, 1998, in Cincinnati, OH. It was issued by the Standards Council on July 16, 1998, with an effective date of August 5, 1998, and supersedes all previous editions.

Changes other than editorial are indicated by a vertical rule in the margin of the pages on which they appear. These lines are included as an aid to the user in identifying changes from the previous edition.

This edition of NFPA 260 was approved as an American National Standard on August 6, 1998.

Origin and Development of NFPA 260

Regulation of the manufacture of furniture has been a subject of research and debate since 1967, when the Flammable Fabrics Act was amended by Congress to include products in addition to wearing apparel and home textiles that might constitute an unreasonable flammability risk. The National Bureau of Standards (NBS) began funding laboratory research on the subject in 1968. With its formation in 1973, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) became the government agency responsible for administration of the Flammable Fabrics Act, including the adoption of any program or standard regulation upholstered furniture. NBS retained responsibility for designing test methods related to flammable fabrics.

In 1976, NBS submitted a draft to the CPSC for a proposed cigarette ignition resistance standard for upholstered furniture. Shortly thereafter, however, the CPSC was reorganized into separate program areas, followed by nearly a year's worth of study on its children's sleepwear standards, which was prompted by findings that a chemical used in sleepware to make it flame-retardant might be carcinogenic. In November 1978, the CPSC staff, after modifying the originally proposed NBS standard on upholstered furniture, recommended to the CPSC commissioners that they publish the proposed standard.

In December 1978, at an informal meeting during which the CPSC asked that comments be submitted before publishing the final version of the standard, the upholstered furniture industry proposed its own voluntary program, the Upholstered Furniture Action Council (UFAC) Voluntary Action Program.

The UFAC voluntary program was adopted in April 1979. The 1983 edition of this standard (then NFPA 260A) was developed subsequent to that date by the Technical Committee on Fire Test and drew heavily on the UFAC test method for components of upholstered furniture. The 1986 edition brought the document into substantial agreement with the UFAC test method. The 1989 edition was renumbered as NFPA 260 and included refinements for further agreement with the UFAC test method.

The 1994 edition of this standard provided further refinements that reflected minor changes and editorial clarification. Those changes involved current definitions and technology used within the upholstered furniture industry.

The 1998 edition adds a clarification defining the pretest cigarette burn length.

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