Television burning test: demonstrating the need for high fire safety standards

Experts from the Fire Technology Department at the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in San Antonio, Texas, United States performed burning tests on different TVs. This video shows the importance of high fire safety standards and the layer of fire protection that flame retardant materials can provide when they are added to consumer electronics.

While televisions and the materials used in TVs have changed dramatically over the last decades, the need for fire safety has not. Today, potentially flammable polymeric materials are used in modern flat screen TVs and these can contribute to fires as the first item ignited or as a second article ignited adding to the overall fuel load.

The video shows two TV sets (same model and brand) manufactured for two different markets. The first one is exposed to a small open flame (50 watts) for just 60 seconds. Within two to three minutes, the TV is engulfed in flames. The second test was performed under identical conditions. It shows the same TV set model exposed to a larger ignition source (500 W) undergoing multiple ignition attempt (60 seconds each). Even after being exposed to a larger flame, the television fails to ignite.

The study from the Southwest Research Institute has been published in the peer reviewed journal Fire Technology. The full study can be accessed here.