Boston City Fire Code Removed Requirement to Use CAL 133 for Sprinkled Occupancies

We received a communication from BIFMA indicating Boston City Fire Code has effectively been changed, for sprinkled occupancies only. Indeed BFD IX-10, the equivalent of California Technical Bulletin 133 – Cal TB 133 for Boston, is no longer required for this specific product use. However compliance to Cal TB 133/BFD IX-10 in Boston as well as in Massachusetts is still required for Assemblies (50+ persons), Educational (up through the 12th grade), Health Care, Residential Board and Care, Dormitories, hotels, Detention and Correctional institutions. The Boston regulation of Upholstered Furniture can be found at: https://www.cityofboston.gov/fire/pdfs/BFD%20IX-10%20Upholstered%20Furniture%20Regulation.pdf

This standard that pertains to fire safety is often required with other chair performance standard such as BIFMA X5.1 – General Purpose Office Chairs and BIFMA X5.4 – Lounge and Public Seating.

Below you can see an infra-red photograph of a chair being tested to CAL 133. Remember: color blue is cold. The brighter the color the warmer it gets. The black spot is because the camera saturates. In photograph #1 you can see the ignition process where the lab technician has set the inverted gas burner 1 inch above the chair seat pan. In photograph #2 you can see the chair burning.

Cal TB 133 Fire Ignition and Peak burning rate

In photograph #3 the chair burning rate has slowed down and the amount of heat released is lower than when the chair was shot in photograph #2. In chair #4 the chair is slowly self-extinguishing; you still can see some hot spots on the backrest and in the seat pan. The information on the seat pan is of particular interest as the hot spot is within the seat pan cushioning, underneath the fire membrane.

Cal 133 Lower Heat Release and Final Stage
Micom is a third party material testing laboratory accredited by the Standards Council of Canada, CGSB and ISTA.


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