Storage Furniture Testing

Why test storage furniture?

Storage furniture, for example, kitchen cabinets, wardrobes, bookcases, cupboards, filing cabinets and chests of drawers, by their very nature can become extremely heavy in use. The consequences of structural failure, or the product falling over, can be very serious. The use of glass in cupboard doors is also a safety concern.

Domestic furniture - The General Product Safety Regulations 2005 (GPS Regulations) require storage furniture for the home (domestic market) to be safe and fit for purpose.

Contract furniture - If you are supplying storage furniture for the contract sector, which is anywhere that is not classed as a domestic/home environment, the specification will usually state that a product is required to meet the relevant Standard(s) for its intended use. It is also now the case that many office and contract specifiers will not accept a product unless it has been tested by an independent, third party.

Components - It is important that the components used in the furniture, are strong and durable enough to withstand heavy weight and use over time. For example, hinges, drawer runners, lifting systems and larger components, such as the gas lift struts used in storage beds. Testing will show how these components perform when used in different storage furniture products.

Children’s Furniture - Storage furniture for schools, including products such as book trolleys and coat hook benches, will be subject to more severe testing to help ensure safety is a priority. Read more about Children’s Product Testing

FIRA’s furniture and product tests simulate real-life use and misuse, providing a valuable insight into how a table or desk will perform and allow you to identify any issues before your customers do.

Complying with Standards and regulations for storage furniture

Testing is an easy way to ensure compliance and FIRA’s experts are knowledgeable and experienced in the practical requirements for meeting Standards and legislation.

There are British and European Standards applicable to the structural testing of storage furniture for both the domestic and contract markets.

Each Standard contains a series of tests which address strength, durability, stability and safety. The test methods and performance requirements vary depending upon the end use of the item concerned, whether for domestic, outdoor, office, contract or educational use.

Key areas for assessing storage furniture:

  • Safety - areas such as sharp edges and entrapment points in folding mechanisms
  • Stability – making sure a product won’t topple if you lean or put weight on it
  • Strength – ability to withstand normal use loads, as well as foreseeable misuse, such as standing or leaning on a product
  • Durability – assessing the performance of a product over its lifetime.

Speak to a FIRA expert to find out the different tests required for your product. Contact us or request a quote.

Glass in cupboard doors

The use of glass in doors can also be a safety concern, but carrying out glass fragmentation testing on tempered/safety glass, annealed glass or curved safety glass will help to ensure that if it does break, it breaks as safely as possible. Request more information or a quote for FIRA’s Glass Fragmentation Testing Service.

Importing storage furniture

For products made in the EU, it is the manufacturer who is responsible for ensuring a product is ‘safe and fit for purpose’, however if you are importing tables and desks from overseas into the EU, you are responsible.

Performance Levels

  • Domestic and contract storage furniture. Strength and stability of furniture.
  • Domestic kitchen equipment. Fitted kitchen units, peninsular units, island units and breakfast bars. Performance requirements and test methods
  • Domestic and kitchen storage units and worktops.
  • Office furniture. Storage furniture - stability and strength of the structure
  • Office furniture. Tables and desks and storage furniture - strength and durability of moving parts
  • Non-domestic storage furniture - safety, strength, durability and stability
  • Domestic and non-domestic storage furniture - strength, durability and stability