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What is the CAL TB 117 Fire Code?

The CAL TB 117 fire code is both an open flame or the component pieces of upholstered furniture.  The TB 117 test requires upholstered furniture paddings to withstand 12 second of an open flame without spreading the flame.

In 2013, the Technical Bulletin was updated to transition from an open-flame to a smoldering (cigarette) test. Materials are no long tested separately, but are combined with standard materials to create a composite - upholstery, foam, and any barrier layers are tested together.  The new standards allow for materials to be used without chemical flame retardants, as they are no longer exposed to a direct flame.

How are filling materials tested?

CAL 117 - 2000:
A 6" x 3" sample of the filler material is placed in a test cabinet. A 5/8" flame is applied to the lower edge of the sample for 5 seconds. The time flame spreads and the time to self-extinguishing is then measured. Five samples of the material are tested this way.  Other types of furniture materials are tested in a similar fashion, with size and number of samples changing as dictated in the bulletin.

CAL 117 - 2013:
Each test involves a miniature assembly consisting of the  component to be tested along with other specified materials, mounted on a plywood mock-up that resembles a small chair seat and back.The assembly is exposed to a lighted cigarette as an ignition source. The test lasts 45 minutes, at which point the material must have self-extinguished. The char mark must be less than 1.8 inches in either direction, and at no point can the material transition to open flame.

Helpful links below:

State of California Technical Bulletin 117 (2000)

State of California Technical Bulletin 117 (2013)

TB 117 - 2013 Fact Sheet

Additional Information on Flammability Testing