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Incidents of Fires from Upholstered Furniture

When a person goes into business, one thing that is addressed is the design and décor of the business space.  While this can seem like an inconsequential detail, it actually can have a lot to do with the impression that your business makes on a potential customer. A customer may be attracted to a business subconsciously, just based on the décor alone. While this can be an asset, the décor, including furniture and upholstery, can be a liability if it’s not properly protected and treated with fire retardants.  Those pieces can be a significant fire hazard if the right precautions are overlooked.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), furniture and upholstery can be a significant contributor to the start of fires as well as the losses associated with those fires. The NFPA conducted a study from 2010-2014 where furniture and upholstery were factors in fires. While this study dealt with home fires in particular, the results are of interest to business owners as well, since many of the same variables are present in business locations.

From 2010 – 2014, there were on average each year 5300 fires that originated from upholstered furniture that caught fire. As a result of these fires, approximately 440 civilians lost their lives and 700 civilians were injured. Fires from upholstered furniture accounted for 2% of the fires, yet 18% of the deaths from fires were a result of those same fires. While these statistics are tragic, the most shocking figure is the financial impact from the loss of property.  These very fires resulted in $269 million in property damage every year. 

The next question we logically ask is what set the furniture on fire? In 20% of the cases, smoking material was case the cause.  Heaters followed right behind, which ignited upholstered furniture 11% of the time. A combination of candles, lighters, and matches caused the fires 20% of the time, with electrical and lighting issues coming right behind as a cause 12% of the time. 

So what should a business owner take from this data? First, it’s important to note that all of the sources of fire are not only present in homes but also at business locations and offices; therefore, they can also be factors in business fires as well.

Next, a business owner should be aware of how critical flameproofing treatments are. Upholstered furniture is able to be coated with flame repellents, which greatly minimizes it as a contributing factor to the spread and severity of a fire. These pieces of furniture will no longer be combustible once treated, ruling them out as a cause for the spread of a fire. Flameproofing treatments would have made a huge impact on the effect of these home fires that started with upholstered furniture.

Manhattan Flameproofing has been protecting New York City and all of the Greater New York Metro area with our flameproofing treatments for over 5 decades.  We would value the opportunity to serve your business and protect your establishment from the threat of a major fire. If you have need for flameproofing services, please call us today. We would be pleased to address your questions and concerns and provide you with a free, no-obligation quote: 1-800-268-7993 



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