MadSci Network: Engineering

Re: Why do duvet covers/bedding need to be flame retardant?

Date: Mon Jul 17 15:51:16 2000
Posted By: Paul Odgren, Instructor, Cell Biology, University of Massachusetts Medical School (Dept. of Cell Biology)
Area of science: Engineering
ID: 959080073.Eg

Dear Bhav,

The simple answer is to try to reduce the risk of deaths and injuries. 
Three things to condsider. 1) many people (though fewer every year, thank 
goodness) smoke, and some of them smoke in bed. 2) many people use candles 
or other other sources of flame near their beds and/or have eletrical 
outlets/lighting, etc. near their beds. 3) many houses burn every year. 
Since people sleep in their beds, they are at greater risk of failing to 
notice the start of a fire. Bedding, with its layers of cloth and 
pading, is great potential fuel and is in direct contact with skin. Having 
flame retardent bedding greatly improves the chance of escape and reduces 
the risk of death or injury.

Hope this answers your question.

Paul Odgren
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Worcester, Massachusetts

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