Bethesda, Maryland - A new US federal standard for mattress flammability, which came into effect 1 July 2007, may help to save up to 270 lives and prevent up to 1330 serious injuries, according to the body responsible for issuing the new regulations. This is the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which said in a 20 June statement that the mandatory standard " adds an important layer of fire protection to consumers' homes." An important factor is that the rule will apply to all relevant products manufactured, imported, or renovated on or after that date. The new standard is intended to reduce the severity of mattress fires ignited by open flame sources such as candles, matches and lighters. New mattresses or sets are also required to have a label stating that they meet the federal flammability requirement.The standard -16 CFR Part 1633: Standard for the Flammability (Open Flame) of Mattress Sets - comes under the Flammable Fabrics Act. It sets performance requirements based on research conducted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. CPSC says that products that comply with these requirements "will generate a smaller size fire with a slower growth rate, thus reducing the possibility of flashover occurring." As a result, the US will see a "significant reductions in deaths and injuries associated with the risk of mattress fires," CPSC adds. epw"