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FIRA support BBC in raising awareness of rogue mattresses

The Furniture Industry Research Association recently featured on the BBC ‘Rip Off Britain’ programme, which focused on the dangers rogue mattresses in terms of safety and paying over the odds for a product which is not fit for purpose.

Rip Off Britain presenter, Angela Rippon, came to FIRA’s facilities in Stevenage to meet with Phil Reynolds, Director at the Furniture Industry Research Association. The main focus of the programme was centered on a mattress purchased by a consumer from a rogue door-to-door salesman who was not affiliated to a recognised manufacturer or retailer. After paying £250 for the mattress, which began to collapse just three days later, the consumer was bitterly disappointed. With no receipt or retailer to raise the issue with the consumer was left out of pocket.

With this in mind Phil explained to viewers about the necessity to purchase mattresses from a recognised retailer, and acknowledged how the National Bed Federation can help educate and support consumers prior to a purchase.

FIRA International, the commercial provider to the Furniture Research Industry Association then conducted some tests on the mattress, including ‘BS 7177:2008+A1:2011 Specification for resistance to ignition of mattresses, mattress pads, divans and bed bases’, and also schedule 2 Part IV of the Furniture & Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988.

Although the mattress did pass the flammability tests, FIRA International set up a test in their laboratory to show what happens when a foam which is not fire-retardant catches fire to demonstrate to viewers the hazards which a dangerous mattress can pose.

Speaking on the filming, Phil Reynolds, Director at the Furniture Industry Research Association said “Unfortunately we are still hearing about consumers buying mattresses from traders who sell from the back of a van. The quality of the mattress we looked at in this case was very poor. The springs were not robust which lead to the mattress collapsing, the stitching was inadequate and there was hardly any foam to protect the user from the springs.

In supporting the BBC we wanted to get our advice across to consumers that they should always buy from a reputable supplier.”

The programme, which aired on 4th May 2017 will be available on BBC iPlayer. For further details see the BBC ‘Rip Off Britain’ website

FIRA’s ‘Mattress Buying Guide’ aimed at consumers is available at, and details on the National Bed Federation at