Sunday, July 01, 2007

6/20/07 New Federal Mattress Standard Expected to Save Hundreds of Lives, Prevent Thousands of Injuries

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A good night's sleep - that's what most consumers
want from their mattress. Starting July 1, 2007, new mattresses will
offer an additional, lifesaving benefit: better protection from a fire
(transcript).

Mattresses manufactured in or imported into the United States on or
after July 1, 2007 must meet the U.S. Consumer Product Safety
Commission's (CPSC) flammability standard. The mandatory standard is
designed to reduce the severity of mattress fires ignited by open flame
sources such as candles, matches and lighters.

CPSC estimates that, once fully effective, the new federal flammability
standard will prevent as many as 270 deaths and 1,330 injuries every
year.

CPSC Acting Chairman Nancy Nord calls the new standard an important
layer of fire protection in the home.

"The new federal flammability standard limits the spread and intensity
of a mattress fire," said CPSC Acting Chairman Nancy Nord. "That will
give consumers valuable time to escape their homes if there's a fire and
it will save lives."

The mandatory mattress rule, known as 16 CFR Part 1633, is a performance
standard that limits the heat release in a mattress fire.

When shopping for a new mattress or mattress set, consumers should look
for a label on the mattress stating that it meets the federal
flammability requirement, and whether it is intended to be sold alone or
with a specific foundation, such as a box spring.

Although this is an added layer of protection, consumers still need to
keep in mind that increased fire resistance does not mean there is no
fire risk. CPSC urges consumers to follow these important fire safety
tips:

* Never smoke in bed.
* Do not allow kids to play with candles, lighters, matches or smoking
materials.
* Do not fall asleep while a candle is burning.
* Extinguish candles before leaving the room.
* Have working smoke alarms on each level of the home and inside every
bedroom.
* In case of fire, call 911 from a safe location.

The federal open flame standard does not address ignition from
cigarettes because that protection is already required. A mandatory
federal standard on cigarette ignition of mattresses, 16 CFR Part 1632,
has been in place for more than 30 years.

CPSC's free publication, "Sleep Safer: A Fire Resistant Mattress Can
Save Your Life" (CPSC-560), offers consumers lifesaving information on
the new federal open flame standard and fire safety tips. It is
available in English and Spanish and can be ordered by sending an email
request to info@cpsc.gov or by contacting CPSC's Hotline at (800)
638-2772.

No comments: