A study of the flammability of fabrics involved in wearing-apparel fires was conducted co-operatively by the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Accident Prevention and the National Fire Protection Association Committee on Wearing Apparel. A total of 124 fabric samples from 84 accident cases were tested. Of the 124 samples, 94 were of cotton exclusively, bearing out the previously known, but widely unrecognized, fact that cotton is the most flammable of fabrics. All met the currently established standards of normal flammability for fabrics. Other data obtained in the study included age of patients (a total of 84, of whom 41 were children and 7 were aged persons); type of garment (40% were pajamas, nightgowns, bathrobes, or housecoats); and source of ignition (more than half were stoves, heaters, furnaces, or fireplaces).
The relative flammability of fabrics are discussed, with attention to the fiber and the weight and weave of the fabric. Other factors influencing wearing-apparel fires include the type and style of garment; the age of the person involved; and the availability of a source of ignition. Legislation concerning standards of acceptability for the flammability of clothing fabrics are outlined, as are the standards of the National Fire Protection Association. The need for a public education program about the hazards of clothing fires is delineated. Current research in the field of chemical flame retardants for fabrics is outlined.
Possible steps for reducing clothing fires are listed, with special attention to the pediatrician's role.
- Copyright © 1964 by the American Academy of Pediatrics