The Furniture Industry Research Association (FIRA) has developed a ‘first standard’ test for contract beds; the first of it’s kind.
After identifying a gap in existing standards for contract (non-domestic) beds, FIRA International’s testing laboratory has created a new standard, FS059:2014 (Non-domestic or contract furniture – Beds and divans - Safety requirement and test methods).
When carrying out testing on a product you want to replicate normal use and occasional misuse to fully understand how it will perform in real life
This new standard, dubbed the ‘first standard’, recognises that contract beds used in commercial settings, are used more frequently than their domestic counterparts and need to be manufactured to meet these different sets of demands.
Liz Morey, Customer Services Coordinator at FIRA International, said: “When carrying out testing on a product you want to replicate normal use and occasional misuse to fully understand how it will perform in real life. There are British and European standards that apply to domestic beds, but a contract bed, for example in a hotel, will need to withstand a higher level if use than the domestic standard, so we have used our knowledge of bed testing to create this new standard which is the first to specifically cover contract beds.”
What does the new ‘first standard’ test for?
The new standard includes safety, durability, static-load and impact tests which aim to replicate normal use and occasional misuse, such as:
- Sitting on the edge of a bed
- Someone moving around in their sleep
- Lifting and moving a bed
- A person falling or sitting down heavily on the bed
- Dropping the bed from a height of 300mm.
Jamie Welch, Sales Director at HotelContractBeds, welcomes the new standards: “We’re serious about what we do, and have began implementing these new standards in our product ranges. It is important to recognise that contract beds and mattresses are used much more frequently than the average domestic bed, and hotel and B&B owners want to invest in high-quality beds that are up to the task. By incorporating the ‘first standard’ into our products, on top of the Crib 5 fire regulations we have been meeting for years, hoteliers can be confident that their guests will receive the highest quality and comfortable beds.”
What standards already apply to contract beds?
Any mattresses or beds that are bought and used for commercial use must meet strict UK and EU fire regulatory standards, which include BS EN597-1 (smouldering cigarette test), BS EN597-2 (match test) and BS 6807 (flame retardant test) – more commonly referred to as Crib/Source 5.
Failure to adhere to these regulations is an offence that can lead to prosecution in the event of a fire. It is not uncommon for commercial establishments to find their insurance invalidated as a result of not conforming to these standards.
Who is required to use contract furniture?
Under government legislation, the following list of commercial establishments must use contract beds and mattresses:
- Guest Houses
- Boarding Schools
- Halls of Residence
- Residential and Care Homes
Looking for contract beds and mattresses for your commercial business? Visit HotelContractBeds now to see our range of products, at competitive prices.