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

Please note that Micom no longer offers Cal TB 133 testing services. Please refer to our Furniture Testing page to see the tests we offer.

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: CityOfBoston

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.

All of the information and opinions contained in this blog are made with the information, and the understanding that we have reviewed at the time of publishing.  However, despite our efforts, we do not offer any guarantee of their accuracy, thoroughness of our investigation or validity. The author of this blog is not liable for any inaccuracies or any losses or damages that may result from the use of the information or data contained herein. This blog has not been reviewed or verified for its accuracy by any peer group associates prior to publication.

Michel Comtois

Michel Comtois

Michel Comtois is an accomplished founder and CEO of Micom Laboratories Inc., an ISO/IEC 17025 (2017) A2LA-accredited independent laboratory specializing in product and material testing services. Before establishing Micom Laboratories in 1999, Michel, who also holds a Master’s degree in Physical Chemistry, gained extensive experience over a 14-year tenure managing departments spanning physical chemistry, physics, mechanical and material testing in research and contract laboratories. This exposure granted him a profound understanding of the intricacies of development and material testing processes.

In addition to his practical experience, Michel has played influential roles on various voluntary technical committees. He notably, served as the chairperson for CAN/CGSB 44.227 and the Head of the Canadian Delegation for ISO TC 136. He also contributed to the following technical committees: CAN/CGSB 44.229, CAN/CGSB 44.232, ANSI/BIFMA X5.1, ANSI/BIFMA X5.5, ANSI/BIFMA X5.6, ANSI/BIFMA X 5.9 ANSI/BIFMA X5.11, ISTA Certification Council.

Leveraging his unique expertise, he has led Micom Laboratories to become a renowned name in its niche, now operating out of a 16,000-square-foot test facility in Montreal, Canada, and serving a diverse customer base with an array of material and product testing services. Follow Michel on LinkedIn

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