The UK Government has published (July 2019) its response to the 2017 public consultation on the updating of the 1988 UK Furniture Fire Safety Regulations (see pinfa Newsletter n°74). The consultation received 126 inputs, of which around 2/3 from business, and the remainder from stakeholders and fire fighters organisations, as well as stakeholder group consultations and input from the Government Scientific Advisers. The Government indicates general support for the proposals on scope, traceability, labelling and enforcement, but mixed views on proposals for revising testing specifications. Respondents questioned the proposed modifications to the match test, and there was opposition, especially from fire services, to the proposed removal of the cigarette test. The Government indicates that “it will focus on safety outcomes such as reduced risk of ignition; reduced risk of fire spread … underpinned by a set of essential safety requirements which all upholstered furniture placed on the market must meet”. It is proposed to move from prescribed tests to an outcome/criteria based approach, and the Government fixes as the priority to develop this new approach in coming months: defining essential safety requirements and a new legislative framework. This will include working with the British Standards Institution to types of standards to be developed to show compliance with essential safety requirements. The Government has now announced that the updated UK Furniture Fire Safety Regulations should be ready by autumn 2021 (see below).
“Updating The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988. Government response to consultation”, 18th July 2019 https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/822072/furniture-fire-regulations-2016-consultation-government-response-july-2019.pdf