The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) unanimously approved a new federal standard for mattress flammability. By limiting the spread and intensity of a mattress fire and increasing escape time, CPSC estimates that the mandatory standard could save hundreds of lives and prevent more than 1000 injuries every year.
"We commend CPSC for enacting this critical safety standard," said Laura Ruiz, chairman of the American Fire Safety Council. "Flame retardant systems, which slow the spread of fire and provide essential escape time, will play a critical role in meeting the CPSC standard."
CPSC is also developing an upholstered furniture standard and has stated that furniture-related fires have increased nearly 7% between 1999 and 2002.
This national standard follows similar legislation already enacted in California. In anticipation of this ruling, many major nonwoven fabric producers have already developed substrates that would enable mattresses to be antiflammable. The standard will go into effect on July 1, 2007. The CP:SC does not specify how mattress manufacturers are to meet this standard.