Every year, thousands of tonnes of perfectly recyclable sofas are thrown away for not having a fire safety label intact – But why? It could be due to poor placement of the label itself, tempting its buyer into cutting off the eyesore. Or it could be that many don’t understand why it is there in the first place and decide to remove it. These labels are there for a reason and furniture cannot be sold without one.
We take a look at how furniture regulations have changed, the importance of fire safety labels and top tips on keeping your home safe from fire.
The Origin of Fire Safety Labels
Since 1988, and the introduction of the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations, any sofa sold in the UK must be treated with fire-retardant chemicals and display a label to show it. That means that whether you’re looking to donate your sofa to charity or sell it on, it must have a label intact or sadly, it’ll end up in a landfill.
How Furniture Is Reducing Your Escape Time
Fire safety isn’t usually at the forefront of buying a new sofa, but many consumers don’t realise how easily their furniture can ignite. Studies and experiments have shown that synthetic fibres used to create modern furniture not only burns hotter but also much faster than those made with natural materials. According to a Today report, 30 years ago you had approximately 17 minutes to escape a house fire – This has now diminished considerably.
We’ve come up with some easy tips to keep your home and furniture safe.
Always Check For a Fire Safety Label
- Although furniture cannot legally be sold without one, be sure to check for a fire safety label when buying furniture both new and second hand
Avoid Careless Smoking and Upholstered Furniture
- Always use deep ashtrays and as tempting as it may be, never leave them on the arm of your sofa or chair
- Before heading to bed, be sure to check where you’ve been sat whilst smoking to ensure there is no ash, matches or discarded cigarettes left behind
Arrange Your Furniture Carefully
- If you’re lucky enough to have a wood stove, fireplace or use a space heater, be sure to place your furniture at least three feet away
- As well as being careful about their placement, be sure to switch off heating appliances when heading to bed or when leaving the house
Always Check Your Fire Alarms
- The easiest way to protect your home and family from fire is with working smoke alarms – Be sure to check their batteries frequently and install more than one around your home
Be Candle Conscious
- Ensure all candles are secure in a proper candle holder, away from materials that may catch fire – such as curtains – and don’t leave overnight or while you’re out of the house
Keep Your Electrics Safe
- Make sure an electrical appliance has a British or European safety mark when you buy it
- An extension lead or adaptor will have a limit to how many amps it can take, so be careful not to overload them to reduce the risk of a fire
There are many ways to help prevent a fire in your home, from being cautious with your electrics to safe cooking and checking your fire alarms. These are just a few tips to help keep your home safe.
Fire Safety in your Home
At Coopers Fire, we provide homeowners with the means to achieve beautiful open plan living without compromising on safety. Our fire curtain and smoke curtains guarantee compliance with local building control and fire regulations.
To find out more about our products and services, or to enrol in one of our educational training courses, call us on 02392 454 405 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.