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Flame Spread of Carpet Systems Involved in Room Fires.



K M. Tu, S Davis


This study was designed to test the hypothesis that given a situation where a chair or other item of furniture becomes the first item to burn in a room (providing the ceiling and walls are noncombustible), there is little reason to expect involvement of the carpet in the fire beyond the immediate vicinity of the buring object. Four small-sized carpet fire test and eight full-scale burn room fire experiments were conducted. Experimental data for temperature distribution and incident heat flux to the floor covering were measured in the rooms. General analysis of the experimental results obtained shows this to be the case. It also is evident that the critical radiant flux of the floor covering system is predictive is the extent of burning. From this study, carpet systems used in rooms will not normally spread fire provided they meet the requirements of DOC FF 1-70 (the pill test).
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) -


carpets, fire safety, flame spread, floor coverings, flooring radiant panel test, ignition source, pill test, room fires


Tu, K. and Davis, S. (1976), Flame Spread of Carpet Systems Involved in Room Fires., NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed April 20, 2024)
Created June 1, 1976, Updated February 19, 2017