London — The organisation representing 100% of the UK flexible foam manufacturing industry is opposing possible changes to the UK's 1988 furniture flammability regulations.
In a 15 point submission to the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (formerly BIS the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) Flexible Foam Research said: "During several years of drafting work and consultation by BIS/BEIS we have repeatedly voiced our concerns that proposed new test methods equated to reduced fire safety. Therefore, we do not support the present draft update."
The FFR's opposition stems from a proposed change to the test filling. Under the current system, a non-flame retarded test foam is used as the filling. The group argues that this is an easily available, standard and represents the worst-case filling material.
FFR said that the new proposal is to test furniture construction built around an unspecified flame-retardant foam and this is impractical for a number of reasons. These are broadly that there is no standard formulation used in the UK to achieve flame retardancy in foam; the formulation will need to change as technology develops and fundamentally there is no guarantee that flame retarded foam will be used in furniture.
The new test will not guarantee that furniture with non-polyurethane fillings are match resistant either, said FFR.