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Public Consultation on Furniture Fire Regulations - Submissions Invited

The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, as part of its ongoing consumer safety agenda, is reviewing SI No 316/1995 Industrial Research and Standards (Fire Safety) (Domestic Furniture) Order, 1995 and Irish Standard I.S 419:2011 (both instruments collectively known as the Furniture Fire Regulations).

The Furniture Fire Regulations have been on the statute book for over 25 years and since then there have been a number of developments that may have a bearing on their current suitability, including changes in consumer expectations and in furniture manufacturing practices.

As part of this review process, the Department seeks submissions from all interested parties. The consultation will last 3 months, and the responses will be used in consideration of what, if any, changes may be made to the Regulations.

Safety in the home is the purpose of the Furniture Fire Regulations and everyone is encouraged to engage with the consultation in order to have their voice heard.

Link to the Furniture Fire Regulations:

The consultation document can be found on the Department’s website at: Furniture Fire Regulations Consultation 

Respondents are requested to make their submissions by e-mail to conspol@dbei.gov.ie. The closing date for receipt of submissions is close of business 28 February 2020

Notes for Editors

The Furniture Fire Regulations set levels of fire resistance for domestic upholstered furniture, furnishings and other products containing upholstery in the interest of fire safety. This is to ensure that furniture placed on the domestic market is designed, manufactured and constructed to a particular standard in order to reduce potential harm to persons or property. The Furniture Fire Regulations were written in 1995 before the requirement for technical notification to the EU Commission (which would be the case now) and they mirror the regulations in force in the United Kingdom from 1988. Unlike most other product safety legislation, the Furniture Fire Regulations are not based on EU harmonised standards and are specific to Ireland.

When the Furniture Fire Regulations were introduced, domestic upholstered furniture could present a significant threat to safety in the home, if set alight. The natural, fire-resistant materials used in furniture making for centuries, such as wool, cotton and horsehair, had been replaced during the second half of the twentieth century with cheaper foam fillings, making new furniture more affordable. Unfortunately, these new man-made materials could be extremely flammable with a subsequent danger to life resulting from house fires. The Furniture Fire Regulations strengthened existing requirements for cover fabrics to be resistant to ignition and introduced a new flammability requirement for foam fillings.

The purpose of this consultation is to examine the scope of the Regulations, their enforceability, and the effectiveness of the testing regime.

ENDS

The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) plays a key role in implementing the Government’s policies of stimulating the productive capacity of the economy and creating an environment which supports job creation and maintenance. The Department has lead responsibility for Irish policy on global trade and inward investment and a remit to promote fair competition in the marketplace, protect consumers and safeguard workers.

For further information please contact Press Office, D/Business, Enterprise and Innovation, press.office@dbei.gov.ie or (01) 631 2200

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