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In the revision process of the Furniture and Furnishnigs (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988, the UK launched a public consultation at the end of 2016.

Several organisations, including industry and NGOs together with  independent scientists asked for a change to a smoulder ignition test in the UK. Here are a few of their replies.


European Furniture Industries' Confederation

"EFIC does not agree with the proposed update of the Regulation as it maintains the existing barrier to trade, and it may even lead to more use of hazardous flame retardant chemicals, opposite of the rationale for changing the tests."

Miriam Diamond, PhD
University of Toronto

"I have yet to see data that clearly show the need for an open flame flammability standard for upholstered furniture items."
"...flame retardants used to meet open flame standards may actually exacerbate fire-related deaths and injury."

CHEM Trust 

Chemical safety NGO

“Using a smoulder test instead of a match test not only has the potential to reduce the number of fire deaths resulting from the inhalation of toxic gases and fumes, but also prevents the unnecessary exposure of the entire UK population to proven and potentially harmful chemicals.”

An alliance of NGO's and Scientists in the US

"Open flame furniture flammability standards have not been shown to be effective at improving fire safety. Furthermore,
where fire incident data is available, smoulder ignitions – not open flame ignitions – are the predominant source of furniture fire deaths and losses."

Vytenis Babrauskas, Phd fire safety expert

"The fire problem with upholstered furniture is overwhelmingly caused by cigarette ignitions. This is where regulatory attention should be focused, since such solutions can be both highly effective from a fire safety point of view, and devoid of negative impact on health and environment".