Posted on 02/12/2019 in 2019
US CPSC takes no decision on open flame testing

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission, the body which can fix federal product safety standards, has been discussing and studying a possible federal open flame fire safety requirement for furniture for 25 years, after granting a petition from the US National Association of Fire Safety Marshalls in 1994. The Commission voted on 4th October 2019 on a “Staff Briefing” recommending to terminate rulemaking on upholstered furniture flammability and to not promulgate any other standard (in particular, the current California smouldering cigarette test) as a federal requirement, but the vote failed to reach a majority (two against terminating rulemaking, one for, two other votes). The staff briefing document estimates that upholstered furniture is the first item ignited in around 4 400 declared fires per year (USA), leading to 470 deaths, 660 injuries and nearly 240 million US$ property losses. The Staff Briefing document concludes that the California cigarette test (CA TB 117-2013) does not relate to furniture in the real world, does not give consistent results and does not offer improved safety (because 90% of the furniture on the market would pass the test).

CPSC “Staff Briefing Package. Upholstered Furniture Flammability; Staff Activities and Recommendation. September 2019”, 12 pages
“Record of Commission Action. Upholstered Furniture Update 2019”, 4 October 2019

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