The first standard for contract beds has been created by testing experts at leading furniture technology centre, FIRA.
After identifying a gap in existing standards for non-domestic/contract beds and in response to requests from manufacturers, FIRA International’s testing laboratory has made a new FIRA Standard, FS059:2014 (Non-domestic or contract furniture – Beds and divans – Safety requirement and test methods). A contract bed is any bed designed for a non-domestic setting, eg a hotel or care home.
Liz Morey, customer services co-ordinator at FIRA International, says: “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 of use than one in someone’s home. We had received requests from manufacturers to test to a higher level of 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.”
The new standard includes a higher level of testing than in the standard for domestic beds. It 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 and dropping the bed from a height of 300mm.
The FIRA testing laboratory provides a UKAS-accredited service for all types of furniture and related products for the domestic and contract markets. This includes flammability and fibre performance tests on fabrics and foams, performance tests on adhesives and boards, and structural testing on finished products. In addition to FIRA’s UK-based centre of excellence, support is also available to manufacturers in the Far East, looking to export their products to the UK through FIRA-CMA in Hong Kong, a HOKLAS-accredited test facility offering a full range of structural and flammability testing in the Asian region.