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​​Consultation on updating Furniture and Furnishings Fire Safety Regulations

FIRA was informed yesterday that the Government has re-started the consultation into a potential revision of the fire safety regulations for upholstered furniture. FIRA is currently analysing the proposals and will be arranging some workshops to discuss this further and to define the Furniture Industry Research Association’s response to the proposals. If you would like to contribute to the Association response please ensure that you are able to attend a workshop.

The plan is to remove the 1988 Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations and replace them with an updated version - the 2016 Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations. If you would like to have your say directly, Government would welcome comments on the proposals and the draft of the new regulations.

The draft regulations are included in the consultation document which may be viewed on the GOV.UK website at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/furnit...

You can respond to the survey online at: https://beisgovuk.citizenspace.com/er/proposal-to-...

If you wish to make comments the closing date of this consultation is 11 November 2016. There is a short summary below.


What is this consultation about?
  • The consultation is about proposed changes to update the 1988 Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations (FFRs)
  • Government plans to get rid of the old regulations and replace them with a new set of regulations. A draft of the new regulations is with the consultation document.
  • It is doing this because discussions with stakeholders have indicated that the Regulations are no longer entirely appropriate to changing consumer expectations, and furniture manufacturing practices. Areas of concern include the scope of the Regulations, the effectiveness of the testing regime and the limited traceability provisions ensuring effective enforcement.
Who will be interested in it?

This consultation will be relevant to:

  • manufacturers, importers and retailers of upholstered furniture;
  • the re-upholstery industry, the chemical industry, fabric treatment processors, test houses;
  • Fire and Rescue Services, Trading Standards.

What are the main changes proposed?
  • Scope – a new definition for upholstered furniture, clearer definitions for scatter cushions and for seat pads. Second hand furniture must carry the permanent label to be suitable for sale.
  • Proposals to exclude certain products ie sleeping bags and mattress protectors that can be put in a washing machine; outdoor furniture labelled as unsuitable for use inside the home; and childcare articles such as prams and pushchairs which meet certain British Standards.
  • Testing – new match test to better reflect current manufacturing using combustion modified foam, and a fibre wrap. New testing options introduced for protective cover and components close to the cover. Removal of the cigarette test requirement for covers that pass the match test.
  • Traceability - only one option for the permanent label; manufacturers and certain importers to keep technical files on their products; permanent labels to carry information on use of flame retardants on covers; and the removal of the requirement to carry the display label. Time for Trading Standards to carry out a prosecution is extended from 6 to 12 months.