Dutch Safety Board calls for furniture fire safety requirements after investigating a home fire in which two people died. A man and his 4-year old son were killed by toxic smoke in an apartment building fire in Arnhem, The Netherlands, on New Year’s Eve 2020, when a sofa in the flat’s entrance hall caught fire and they were trapped in the lift. The mother and a second child, also in the lift, were seriously injured. Videos showed that the fire was started by a small flame from fireworks let off by children in the entrance hall. The Dutch Safety Board report notes that the sofa contained highly flammable plastic foam and that the fire developed rapidly in the sofa, releasing large quantities of toxic smoke. The Safety Board calls on the Dutch government to set fire safety requirements for furniture. The Netherlands currently does not have fire safety requirements for domestic furniture and this sofa would not therefore have contained flame retardants which could have prevented this fire being started (by a small flame).
English media summary “Dutch Safety Board: fire safety requirements for furniture in the Netherlands insufficient”, 14 July 2021
Netherlands Safety Board (in Dutch): news item https://www.onderzoeksraad.nl/en/page/12051/news and investigation report https://www.onderzoeksraad.nl/en/page/16175/gelderseplein-building-fire-arnhem-1-january-2020