297 High Street
Dedham, MA 02026
California Technical Bulletin 117 (CA TB 117)
California Technical Bulletin 117 is a mandatory materials standard that
tests both open-flame contact and contact from a smoldering cigarette
for the components used to make residential upholstered furniture. The
most commonly used standard nationwide, manufacturers build furniture in
compliance with CA TB 117 by selecting frames, foam fillings, and
fabrics that are already approved as CA TB 117-compliant. Compliance
with the CA TB 117 indicates that the manufacturer’s end product should
burn slowly or not ignite at all.
California Technical Bulletin 133 (CA TB 133)
California Technical Bulletin 133, regarded as the most severe
open-flame test in the furniture world, is used to test a finished
product such as a completed chair. (It is important to note that CA TB
133 was created to test for “upholstered furniture used in public
occupancies,” and was not meant to test the flame-retardant properties
of upholstered furniture used in residential occupancies.) The reason
the CA TB 133 standard is so highly regarded is that it not only
measures the degree of flame spread, but also measures the gasses given
off by the burning furniture, which can be equally as dangerous.
The Boston Fire Department Test and Requirements (The Boston Fire Code)
The Boston Fire Department Tests and Requirements (The Boston Fire Code)
is also regarded as stringent and very comparable to CA TB 133,
although test methodologies differ between the two. The Boston Fire Code
was developed solely for public occupancy furniture sold in the city of
Boston. However, Boston officials will accept the results of CA TB 133
if the test data is submitted to the Boston Fire Department.
• Meet important fire safety standards and regulations
Prevent many fires from starting
Inhibit the spread of an existing fire
Protect your investment
Protect human life!
Most office seating purchases are based on factors such as comfort,
style, price, and, of course, ergonomic fit – each one a very important
consideration for your investment. However, another important element
worth considering is the fire protective qualities of the fabrics used
in the chairs and stools we utilize everyday.
Today, more and more manufacturers are using fire-protective, flame
retardant fabrics and fillings in office seating and other furnishings
in order to meet important fire safety standards and regulations, such
as California’s Technical Bulletin 117 (TB 117), California TB 133, and
Article XI of the Boston Fire Prevention Code.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA),
fire-protective fabrics are valuable because they prevent many fires
from starting in the first place, and will slow down the spread of an
existing fire, thereby improving the chances for a safe escape. In fact,
TB 117 requires furniture fabrics and padding to withstand 12 seconds
of direct flame contact before the flame spreads. Twelve seconds may not
seem like much time, but it can be critical in emergency situations. One
recent report by the Materials Flammability Group of the National
Institute of Standards and Technology even found that flame retardant
products studied provided a 15x greater escape time compared to
non-flame retardant treated products and materials.