UL (Underwriters Laboratories) has published the summary record of the 2nd Furniture Flammability and Human Health Summit, Atlanta, Georgia, May 2014. This brought together 40 experts from fire prevention organisations, regulators, scientists, environmental and health NGOs and industry.
The 43 page document includes summaries of presentations and of discussions for the two days, covering furniture fire standards, codes and testing, fire statistics, new flame retardant solutions (in particular, reactive phosphorus based PIN FRs ‘bound-in flame retardants permit minimal exposure”), environment and health questions related to flame retardant use in furniture, smoke toxicity and fire fighter health risks, consumer information and furniture industry product strategies. Marty Ahrens, NFPA (US National Fire Protection Association) underlined the importance of accurate fire statistics data to support decision making. Data in the USA shows that (for 2006-2010) one in four home fire deaths was attributable to upholstered furniture, as the first item ignited or the primary item contributing to fire spread: that is 610 civilian deaths per year. Final conference comments underlined the complexity of furniture fire testing, the interest of already implementing a smoulder resistance requirement as a first step to improve fire safety, the importance of transparency, consumer information and awareness and of cost-benefit analysis.
UL Initiative on Safety Convergence “Proceedings of the Furniture Flammability and Human Health Summit”, 20-22 May 2014, Atlanta GA http://library.ul.com/?document=proceedings-of-the-furniture-flammability-and-human-health-summit