You need to have JavaScript enabled to view this video clip.


Household fires can be very dangerous. Research and testing is carried out to assess how materials burn. Four different fabrics are tested. Pure silk and pure cotton treated with a flame retardant are harder to set alight and need a naked flame to keep the fabric burning. The flame retardant cotton proved to be the safest fabric. This information is passed to furniture manufacturers. All household furniture and fabrics are now treated with fire retardants by law.
This clip is from:
First broadcast:
5 March 2008

Classroom Ideas

When focusing on observation skills, it can be challenging for children to fully understand the limitations of their human observation skills. In controlled and supervised conditions, the class could carry out their own investigation comparing how two different materials burn using only their own observation skills. Post investigation, children could be asked to brainstorm the limitations of their observations. Subsequently, the clip could be viewed with the children to identify how scientific equipment has been used to increase the precision of the investigation. Furthermore, children could discuss the importance of presenting data in an accessible format for scientists and non-scientists to discuss.

This clip also features in: