Knowledge Hub Article
1st September, 2017
by Technical Services
Standards applicable to the sale of childcare (furniture) products in the UK
At a glance:
The following is a summary of some of the products and standards relating to the manufacture, specification and sale of furniture and related products designed or intended for use by children in the UK.
Products covered in this article:
- Bunk beds
- Bed guards
- Chair mounted seats
- Changing units and convertible changing units
- Children’s furniture (bedroom, storage, desks etc.)
- Children’s beds
- Cots & folding cots
- Cribs & cradles
- High chairs
- Carry cots, moses baskets and stands
- Play pens
- Reclined, rocking and bouncing cradles
- Safety gates and barriers
- Table mounted chairs
- Upholstered childcare products
Following the “Red Tape Challenge” undertaken by the UK government in 2012, a number of UK Statutory Instruments or Regulations relating to children’s products were revoked including the Bunk Bed (Entrapment Hazard)(Safety) Regulations 1987 and the Stands for Carry Cots (Safety) (Revocation) Regulations 1996.
This did not mean that the safety of these and other children’s products went unregulated, as these products are still covered by the European General Product Safety Directive (GPSD) 2001/95/EC.
This European Directive states that no product shall be supplied or placed on the market unless that product is safe.
It is the responsibility of the producer, manufacturer, importer or retailer to show that reasonable steps have been taken to ensure a product is safe when considering not only the intended use but also the foreseeable use of the product itself.
One means of demonstrating this is to conduct regular product testing to a recognised European, national or international standard or industry specification which contains strength, durability or general safety requirements.
BS EN 747-1:2012+A1:2015 and BS EN 747-2:2012+A1:2015 – Furniture – Bunk beds for domestic use - Safety requirements (part 1) and test methods (part 2).
This European standard covers strength, durability and general safety (including entrapment hazards) of bunk beds and what are termed as high sleeper beds, where the top surface of the bed is 60cm or more from the ground. The standard is intended to cover products used in both a domestic and non-domestic setting.
BS 7972:2001+A1:2009 – Safety requirements and test methods for children’s bed guards for domestic use
This British standard is used to assess the structural integrity and general safety of bed guards that are intended to be fitted to children’s or full sized beds.
Chair mounted seats
BS EN 16120: 2012 + A2: 2016 Chair Mounted Seats - Specification & Test methods
This revised European standard contains safety requirements and test methods for chair mounted seats designed and intended for use on an adult chair, otherwise known as booster seats (not for use in vehicles).
Changing units and convertible changing units
BS EN 12221:2008+A1:2013 and BS EN 12221-2:2008+A1:2013 – Changing units for domestic use - Safety requirements (part 1) and test methods (part 2).
This European standard includes both general safety requirements and structural performance tests and can be applied to both freestanding and cot-top mounted changing units as well as combination units including additional features such as bathing stations.
Where the changing unit is removable, for example a top surface or rails on a drawer or other storage unit, further testing should be considered.
Children’s furniture (bedroom, storage, desks etc.)
Whilst there are no standards currently that are specific to children’s furniture in general, FIRA has developed a suite of standards for children’s furniture with the Furniture Retail Quality Group which may be used.
FIRA/FRQG C001: 2016 – General Safety Requirements
FIRA/FRQG C002: 2016 – Seating: Requirements for strength, stability and durability
FIRA/FRQG C003: 2016 - Tables and desks: Requirements for strength, stability and durability
FIRA/FRQG C004: 2016 - Storage furniture – Requirements for strength, stability and durability
BS 8509:2008+A1:2011 Children’s beds for domestic use. Safety Requirements and test methods.
This British standard includes strength, durability and general safety requirements that are applied to convertible cot beds and toddler beds for children up to 4 years of age.
Cots & folding cots
BS EN 716-1: 2017 and BS EN 716-2: 2017 – Furniture – Children’s cots and folding cots for domestic use - Safety requirements (part 1) and test methods (part 2).
This recently revised European standard covers strength, durability and general safety of cots and folding cots (including travel cots) for domestic use.
Cribs & cradles
BS EN 1130-1:1997 AND BS EN 1130-2:1996– Furniture – Cribs and cradles for domestic use - Safety requirements (part 1) and test methods (part 2).
This European standard is applied to swinging, rocking or gliding cribs as well as static cribs and cradles and includes tests for strength, durability and general safety. It is currently under revision.
BS EN 14988: 2017- Children’s high chairs. Safety requirements and test methods
This recently updated standard, originally in 2 parts, includes general safety, strength and durability requirements for highchairs and convertible highchairs for both domestic and non-domestic use. Where the highchair may be converted into other products for example a chair and desk, further testing should be carried out.
Carry cots, moses baskets and stands
BS EN 1466: 2014 - Carry cots and stands - Safety requirements and test methods
Despite its title, this European standard applies to not only carry cots but also to similar handled products and stands including moses baskets and wooden or metal, static, rocking or gliding stands that may be used with them. The standard includes requirements for general safety and strength when considering both the carrying and potentially sleeping functions of these items.
BS EN 12227:2010 – Playpens for domestic use - Safety requirements and test methods
A European standard combining both safety requirements and structural performance tests intended to address the safety and durability of the product. These types of items are often similar in design, constructions and potentially foreseeable use as a travel cot. If an item can be used as either a playpen or a travel cot both BS EN 716 and BS EN 12227 should be applied.
Reclined, rocking and bouncing cradles
BS EN 12790:2009 Reclined cradles
This European standard can be applied to rocking, reclining, bouncing or static cradles and contains requirements for general safety and durability. It does not apply to door mounted or framed bouncers, in which a child can bounce up and down whilst in a seated position, which are covered by BS EN 14036.
Safety gates and barriers
BS EN 1930:2011 Safety barriers – Safety requirements and test methods
This European product performance standard containing both structural tests and safety requirements for gates and barriers that are intended to be mounted in a doorway. For combination products that convert from a door barrier or gate into a playpen, both BS EN 1930 and BS EN 12227 should be considered.
Table mounted chairs
BS EN 1272:2017 Table mounted chairs. Safety requirements and test methods.
This recently revised European standard contains strength, durability and safety requirements for small chairs which may be attached to a table surface during activity or meal times.
Upholstered childcare products
The UK Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (as amended) also apply to the majority of chidcare products where those childcare products contain upholstery.
Whilst it may seem obvious to apply the Regulations to scaled down versions of adult furniture such as child sized arm chairs or sofas, other products such as highchair seat units, reclined or rocking cradles, table mounting or chair mounted seats, moses baskets, playpens or travel cots may also be subject to the Regulations if they contain upholstery. This can include any upholstered liners that are sold with the products.
Need some help?Contact us
Implications of providing office/contract chairs for employees who are working at home
Clarification from OPSS: do office chairs in the home need to comply with the FFFSR if they've been tested to BS 7176: 2...
Furniture Fire Safety
Key point: upholstered furniture has a significant impact on domestic house fires
FIRA International continues expansion programme
Members receive preferential rates on FIRA International testing
New standard for office furniture published
ANSI-BIFMA X5.9: 2019 Storage units
UKAS accredited flammability testing
Our service provider, FIRA International, has expanded their facilities
California TB 133 Flammability Test Procedure for Seating Furniture for Use in Public Occupancies
California TB 133 has been repealed effective January 22
Interim policy for mattresses and mattress pads
Policy for mattresses subject to 16 CFR part 1632
Electrical accessories incorporated into furniture - a guide to the UK Regulations
For designers and manufacturers of furniture with electrical features, covering applicable EU Directives and CE marking ...
Electrically actuated furniture for the domestic market - a guide to the UK Regulations
Guide to the Application of the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC, Edition 2.1 in relation to domestic furniture
Electrically powered office furniture - a guide to the UK Regulations
The 62 page guide identifies the relationship with powered office furniture products such as sit / stand desking and oth...
Fire safety of furniture and furnishings in the contract and non-domestic sectors - a guide to the U...
The fire safety of upholstered furniture supplied into the non-domestic market is more complex. It is heavily influenced...
Guide to Health and safety management for the woodworking and furniture industries
Fulfilling the legal requirements, implementing processes and maintaining documented systems
The Furniture Retail Quality Group best practice guide - flammability testing
Advice for upholstery component manufacturers and suppliers to help identify the requirements for different upholstery c...
Implications of providing office/contract chairs for employees who are working at home
Use our comprehensive testing services to evaluate the safety, durability, and structural adequacy of your product
UKAS accredited flammability testing on all types of upholstery, fabrics, foams, feathers and fillings
Chairs and seating
Strength and stability testing of all types of seating, to ensure fitness for purpose
Beds and mattresses
Beds, mattresses and components (springs, toppers, foams)
Tables and desks
We test tables (including glass) and desks for safety, stability, strength and durability
Our experts can test all types of storage furniture and components for safety, strength and durability
Children’s furniture testing
We can test a wide range of childcare product including pushchairs, high chairs, changing units, cots and beds
Ensuring they meet domestic or commercial regulations
Childcare product classification
Identifying the difference between a toy and an item of furniture correctly, as the standards and test methods applicabl...
Leather types, characteristics and maintenance
Leather types and characteristics, the benefits of testing and care and maintenance of leather upholstery
What do I need to know to sell highchairs in the UK?
Summary of highchair testing and specification requirements taking account of the current standards and possible introdu...
Product testing videos
See videos showing some of the tests our experts carry out to ensure products are fit-for-purpose
Overview of our product testing services
FIRA International product testing services video, furniture and related products
See how furniture experts test adhesives
How our experts test the durability of cots
Furniture experts test for strength, durability and stability of drawers
Cabinet door testing
How our experts test furniture cabinet doors for durability
Sliding door tests for durability
see how our experts test all types of doors on furniture for durability - cabinets, sideboards, wardrobes, occasional fu...
Testing height adjustable desks
See how our experts test adjustable desk for stability and strength
How we test tables
See how our experts carry out performance tests on tables
Testing of domestic and non-domestic seating
Our experts can test domestic and non-domestic chairs for strength and stability
BFC Proposal for updating UK Flammability Regulations - June 2017
Summary of the British Furniture Confederation’s Proposed Revision of Furniture & Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regula...
Here's an example of how our experts test a bench for strength and stability
Furniture arm testing
Video showing experts testing for strength, durability and safety of furniture arms
How we test motorised recliners
See how our experts test motorised recliners
Office chair testing
See how our experts test the swivel mechanism on office chairs
See how the experts test sofa's
Video of furniture flammability test, comparison of pass and fail, regulations, fabrics and foam
Testing colour fastness to light
Our experts can test fabric for colour fastness to light
Fabric colour fastness tests
See how our experts gauge how liable fabrics are to colour fastness when rubbed.
See how our experts test foam used in upholstered furniture for for durability
Ottoman bed testing
See how our experts set up an ottoman bed for testing to assess performance over a set number of cycles
How mattresses are tested
See our mattress roller in action. This test gives and indication of how mattresses will perform over years of use
Need some in-house test equipment? Our experts can design and build equipment to your specification