Posted on 19/02/2018 in Furniture & Textiles Fire Safety News 32 2018
BBC says “take fire more seriously” for furniture

BBC2 Newsnight programme presents a 13 minute investigation of questions around domestic furniture fire safety regulations. This follows the paper by McKenna, Hull, Stec et al. (above). Paul Guillermo Rein of Imperial College, London, underlines the combustibility and safety risk of upholstered furniture.

Terry Edge, UK civil servant (now-retired) previously responsible for the review of the UK furniture fire safety regulations (pinfa Newsletter n°43) suggests that industry lobbying has blocked the proposed update of these regulations, which intended to ensure more realistic testing (foams as used in real furniture, testing of parts of furniture not covered by the current regulations). The BBC report draws attention to various lobbying activities around UK fire safety, citing Burston Marseller and “Fire Safety Europe”, the tobacco industry, the UK furniture industry (FIRA) and a UK MP who is paid by a furniture retailer. The report suggests that flammability, smoke emissions and flame retardant chemical safety should all be taken into account. It concludes by underlining that “each year, we increase the risks by introducing more flammable polymers into the British home. We are continuously making our living environments more combustible. Government should take fire more seriously.”

“How fire-safe is British furniture?”, BBC Newsnight, 13th December 2017

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