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Alternate Smoldering Ignition Sources: A Literature Review with Analysis



Richard G. Gann, Amanda P. Robbins


Current existing and proposed U.S. flammability standards for soft furnishings such as mattresses and upholstered furniture specify a “standard” cigarette as the ignition source in smoldering resistance performance tests. With the prevalence of reduced ignition propensity cigarettes in the marketplace, the specific conventional cigarette that has been widely used in testing for ignition resistance is no longer in production. A standard reference cigarette, SRM 1196, has been developed as a near-term replacement. However, to support furnishings manufacturers and testing organizations in product design and evaluation, and to assist regulators in the compliance evaluation process, a durable and preferably non-agricultural ignition source is desirable. A key first step in establishing such a standard ignition source is examination of prior characterizations of smoldering ignition sources and the cigarette ignition process. This report documents a literature survey on these topics.
Technical Note (NIST TN) - 1710
Report Number


cigarette, cigarette ignition resistance, fire, fire safety, fire test, ignition, mattress, smoldering, upholstered furniture


Gann, R. and Robbins, A. (2011), Alternate Smoldering Ignition Sources: A Literature Review with Analysis, Technical Note (NIST TN), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed May 26, 2024)


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Created October 1, 2011, Updated November 10, 2018