Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

On the Criteria for Smoldering Ignition in the CFR 1632 Test for Mattresses



Thomas J. Ohlemiller


The Sleep Products Safety Council is sponsoring a study at NIST of the viability of a bench-scale version of CFR 1632 (cigarette ignition of mattresses). In the context of this study, NIST was also asked by CPSC to look into the criteria used to decide the outcome (smoldering/non-smoldering) of such tests. Three markers were examined in 241 bench-scale tests conducted to date: existence of continued smoke emissions, extent of "charred" area progression away from the cigarette and the peak temperature of this charred area as seen by an infrared thermometer. All three of these markers were found to be useful in reaching an early decision as to the outcome of a test but certain precautions are necessary. Recommendations as to a viable procedure using these markers are made.
Technical Note (NIST TN) - 1601
Report Number


smoldering, cigarette, ignition criteria, mattress


Ohlemiller, T. (2008), On the Criteria for Smoldering Ignition in the CFR 1632 Test for Mattresses, Technical Note (NIST TN), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed April 14, 2024)
Created November 1, 2008, Updated February 19, 2017