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Media information  Kusch+Co

24. April 2020

Aesthetics, Comfort and Safety

Kusch+Co combines fire prevention and comfortable seating. Thanks to the company's outstanding expertise, its products have featured in many international references.

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Fire prevention is a central issue in planning – in all buildings but especially in public buildings. However, the strategy of keeping fire loads to an absolute minimum does not mean there is no place for comfortable, upholstered furniture. Kusch+Co is the first company in its sector to tackle this issue and has developed a concept that meets the essential prerequisites of fire prevention. Thanks to its outstanding expertise in this field, Kusch+Co is a popular choice for numerous international references.

How dangerous a fire is mainly depends on how quickly an incipient fire turns into a fully developed fire. Active fire prevention measures are therefore designed to contain the seat of the fire and keep it under control. This strategy can only succeed if there is just a small amount of combustible material from which the fire can draw its energy. This not only applies to building materials but to a building's fittings and furnishing. Fire prevention experts are particularly interested in upholstered furniture – as the upholstery foam used can release enormous amounts of toxic fumes despite their flame-retardant additives. Ten kilogrammes of burning foam produces up to 25,000 cubic metres of smoke.

Expertise based on experience

Although effective, standard-compliant fire prevention rules out conventional upholstered furniture, it doesn't mean comfortable, aesthetic seating has to be done away with entirely. Kusch+Co is the first company in its sector to tackle this issue and has been working on the problem for over 15 years. Since that time, it has arranged for over 60 product-related, product-neutral, contract-related or contract-neutral fire inspections. It goes without saying that this resulted in the company gathering vast experience in how upholstery compounds react to fire, so that Kusch+Co is now in a position to conduct official training courses as part of advanced training for architects. Insurance groups and fire departments are now among the institutions benefiting from the contract furniture manufacturer's expertise.

Material compound ensures safety

Kusch+Co has developed a concept that meets the four essential prerequisites of fire prevention: furniture may neither create favourable conditions for incipient fires nor constitute a source of ignition. It must produce only a small amount of fumes and be self-extinguishing. The key here is a special upholstery compound with a non-combustible glass fabric (A2) compliant with DIN 4102 between the flame-protected foam and the upholstery cover. This separating layer prevents fire on the upholstery cover from spreading to the upholstery foam for a specified amount of time – incidentally, additional, ecologically questionable flame retardants are not needed. Thanks to the rugged separating layer, this solution is very durable and its properties are maintained even if the upholstery cover becomes soiled. "We can implement these combinations of materials in almost all of our products, thus even ensuring maximum fire prevention for thickly upholstered, imposing furniture," says Ingo Bandurski, a fire protection expert at Kusch+Co. Wooden parts, on the other hand, are protected by their coating: the UV-hardened, water-based clear coat is flame retardant according to the requirements of EN 13501 B s2d0.

Partner for planners and building owners

Ingo Bandurski continued: "The focus is no longer on how individual materials react to fire, it is upholstery compounds as a whole that are assessed." This is now the view expressed in various state construction ordinances, thus enabling the production of comfortable seating despite stringent fire prevention requirements – even in critical areas such as working, seminars, dining, waiting and travel. "With regard to airport planning, it takes no more than two questions before the potential customer comes to our products' fire prevention properties," reports Bandurski. "It's the same all over the world." Kusch+Co has a well-functioning international operation and supplies its furniture all around the globe – even to US schools. 

Whereby the furniture itself is at the end of the chain: "First we work out the project proposals together with the fire prevention officers and even draw up approval requests for specific products or upholstery components." This is based on many years of experience, countless references and a large number of "approvals for specific projects", which Kusch+Co has been able to obtain on a regular basis. This is also thanks to the transparency we display: "We don't claim to produce incombustible furniture, but we do our utmost to improve fire safety in public areas and protect lives while providing high-quality, comfortable furniture."

About Kusch+Co

Shaping the way we sit – Kusch+Co’s mission statement stands for more than 80 years of know-how in designing and producing market-oriented seating and interior design solutions as well as for their proficiency in the fields of Fire Prevention, Hygiene and Reduced Mobility.

With their renewed portfolio, Kusch+Co reacts to the changes occurring in the modern working world, to the new challenges in the healthcare sector and to the current requirements in airports and transit sites.

Kusch+Co – established in 1939 by Ernst Kusch and run as a family business in the following decades, until recently by Ricarda Kusch – became a part of the group of companies Nowy Styl, a leading European producer of comprehensive interior design solutions geared towards offices and public areas, in 1939. Kusch+Co is a globally operating premium brand, employing in their headquarters in the Sauerland-based town of Hallenberg – the cradle of their entrepreneurial roots – approximately 230 people. Their network includes other subsidiaries and showrooms e.g. in Munich, Berlin, Paris, London, Brussels, not forgetting in the Dutch town of Culemborg.
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Contact details

Kusch+Co GmbH
Lisa Hedderich,
Public Relations
Gundringhausen 5
59969 Hallenberg
T +49 2984 300-241


Contact person for journalists

Heike Bering, bering*kopal, Büro für Kommunikation
t + 49 711 7451759 15


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