Furniture and Furnishings Fire Safety Regulations

Timeline

Photo by: Fidra

1979
Major furniture fire at department store in Manchester (UK) results in 10 fatalities and 6 injured firefighters

The fire was started after a damaged electrical cable ignited furniture made of polyurethane foam, which produced large amounts of thick toxic smoke. There were 10 fatalities and 6 injured firefighters.

1988
1995
1997
2001
2005
2009
A statistical report investigating the effectiveness of the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 is published

The report was commissioned by UK Government Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS).

2011
2014
UK Government BIS consultation on Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988

Amendments to the UK's furniture flammability laws to improve safety, make UK furniture greener and bring savings to industry proposed. There were 113 responses to the consultation.

2015
2016
UK Government Department for Business, energy & industrial strategy (BEIS) consultation

Furniture and furnishings fire safety regulations: proposed changes (2016). There were 126 responses to the consultation.  

2017
The European Parliament introduced regulations concerning POPs, including recognition of Decabromodipheny I ether (DecaBDE) as a POP

Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures, amending and repealing Directives 67/548/EEC and 1999/45/EC, and amending Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 includes DecaBDE restriction

2019
Toxic Chemicals in Everyday Life report published by House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee

‘The 1988 Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations have been under review for ten years with no reforms enacted. During this time, some of the most commonly used flame retardants have been classed as persistent organic pollutants and substances of very high concern. Inaction has allowed unnecessary and potentially toxic…
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UK Government BEIS responds to the 2016 public consultation

The BEIS confirm they will develop an outcome focused approach based on a set of essential safety requirements for upholstered furniture and furnishings.

2023