Guest SandraMAtt

Fire label on leather settee?

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Hi

Could you tell me if a leather settee bought second hand should have a fire label attached? It's approx 6 years old.

Thanks

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Persons who supply second-hand furniture in the course of business or trade (e.g. auctioneers, charities) are covered by the regulations and should have a label attached. However The Regulations state that the simple distribution of second-hand upholstered furniture and furnishings by a charity in pursuance of its charitable objectives to needy persons, either free of charge or at a nominal amount only, is not considered to constitute a supply in the course of business and hence is exempt from compliance to the Regulations.

Check out http://www.firesafe.org.uk/furniture-and-furnishings-fire-safety-regulations-19881989-and-1993/

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Just to double check. We are a chairty who gives furniture to people in need free of charge. We have a three piece suite where the sofa does not have a fire label but the matching chair does. Are we ok to give the sofa away with the chair (to the same person) even if it doesn't have a fire lable?

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10.1 Charities

The Regulations state that selling upholstered furniture and furnishings to raise funds for charitable purposes constitutes a business activity and hence there is a need to conform to the requirements of the Regulations. Therefore the charity will need to ensure that either the item has complied with the appropriate test(s) as outlined in the Regulations or is fitted with a permanent label which outlines the compliance of the particular item. Items which have not complied with the appropriate test(s) or do not carry a permanent label which outlines the compliance of the item cannot be sold. However furniture manufactured prior to 1950 is outside the scope of these Regulations. The Regulations state that the simple distribution of second-hand upholstered furniture and furnishings by a charity in pursuance of its charitable objectives to needy persons, either free of charge or at a nominal amount only, is not considered to constitute a supply in the course of business and hence is exempt from compliance to the Regulations. This practice is considered to be unsafe, especially in the case of vulnerable and needy persons, and it is to be discouraged. Charities distributing second-hand furniture are also advised to seek assurance that these items conform to the Regulations in the same way that second hand furniture is sold.

Check out http://www.fira.co.u...ber-2011pdf.pdf

The above is an excerpt from the FIRA guide to the regulations and clearly states that you are exempt. But go on to recommend you should conform to the regulations and on reflection I would agree. You should provide a display label if possible and have you checked if there is a permanent label attached to the bottom of the settee as well as the chair which is more important and if missing the item should not be sold.

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I have a 3 piece suite which has a label which states the following.

Carlessness causes fire:

As interlines is not used this item meets only the requirements of reg 5 & 6 of the 1988 safety regulations.

Please can you confirm if this is acceptable for a rented property? It does not say anything about a cigarettte and match test.

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Reg 5 is the requirement for a cigarette test and certain covering materials do not need a match test but do require an a fire-resistant interliner (fire barrier), so the label confuses me. Check out http://www.firesafe.org.uk/furniture-and-furnishings-fire-safety-regulations-19881989-and-1993/ which has links to all the necessary sources of information. I would suggest for an expert view you should contact FIRA and/or your local Trading Standards who are the enforcing authority on the The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations.

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hi tom,

i hope you get this message i recsently brought a brand new sofa and cuddle chair from a shop via ebay

and does not have any lables on it anywhere, can they do this? and can i get my money back?

thanks

maria

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It does appear the retailer is in breach of the regulations and the regulations are enforced by the Trading Standards Department. If you need advice, clarification or additional information contact them by using their website, telephone or go personally to the local office which will be a department of your local Council.

Check out http://www.firesafe.org.uk/furniture-and-furnishings-fire-safety-regulations-19881989-and-1993/.

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I have an Italian leather suite by 'Chateaux d'Ax' purchased in 2001 from Furnitureland. It does not have any fire-retardent labels. Should it have these attached or was it exempt for any reason? I was hoping to give the suite to a charity and would appreciate any help you can give. Thank you.
Don

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When you purchased the suite it should have had a permanent and a display label attached. If you intend giving the suite away then the regulations only apply if you are selling it, but I would advise you to inform the recipient that it does not carry a permanent label. It depends on what the charity intend doing with the suite but they could find themselves in a legal or moral dilemma.

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Hi

I am an upholsterer and in 2003/2004 I recovered a suite with a fire retardant fabric. It was a modern suite with modern filling and probably no fire retardant foam.

The customer now wishes to sell the suite - what proof, if any, am I required to give to the customer? Are there any fire labels that can be fitted retrospectively to recovered furniture?

Many thanks.

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When you recovered the suite there should have been a permanent label attached and you should have left it fixed to the suite. When you recovered the suite you should have used match resistant material which should have met the requirements of the original permanent label. You cannot now fix a permanent label because you would need all the details of the first supplier.

Check out FIRA at http://www.fira.co.uk/publications/flammability-guides for the domestic guide and contact them for more expert advice.

http://www.firesafe.org.uk/furniture-and-furnishings-fire-safety-regulations-19881989-and-1993/

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When you say permanent label, does that include one that is stapled on or just ones that have been sown in? I'm waiting for 2 sofas from Harvey's. I went to the shop today and the sofa has stapled label, not what I wanted to see. I'm considering cancelling my order. Although the sales man says its the right label and strict checks are made etc.

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The guidance to the regulations state,
"The permanent label must be durable and securely attached to the furniture (i.e. cannot be removed without causing damage to the label or the product and must be able to withstand the normal wear and tear of everyday use and misuse). The durability period for permanent labels is not defined in the Regulations. However bearing in mind that any records need to be kept for 5 years and the purpose of the permanent labelling is to link through to those records, a similar period would seem logical. The permanent label has to be securely attached to the external surface of the item. Attachment of the permanent label to the underside of the item is also permissible."
A stapled permanent label pinned to the woodwork under the sofa would appear to be in accordance with the above statement it would not be possible to sew it in on all occasions. My sofa from Harvey's has a stapled label under the sofa.

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Hi Tom

On Monday 13th Jan I watched a documentary on BBC 1 called "Fake Britain" which got me concerned about a sofa we bought last year from SCS. It has the same jumbo lined fabric as the beige one sampled in the program which was proven to have unsafe fabric/cushions.

The program went on to cover mattresses and said they must have a blue an white fie label showing a picture on a cigarette on it. They also discussed what the legal requirements of these labels should be, such as the minimum dimensions, specific colours, etc in order to prove why some are actually fake. However, they did not make it clear what labels should be on a sofa. My sofa and 'spinny' chair both have sewn in labels that specifically state:

"To comply with the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988.

This Item does not require a Schedule 3 Interliner.

All foams, fillings and composites have been tested to ensure compliance with the relevant ignitability test.

Cover and fillings are cigarette resistant

Covers are match resistant"

They do not, however, feature a blue and white fire label like the mattresses were said have required.

My question is, does this sound legal to you? is this correct? I know there is always the possibility that my batch was missed out and the fire resistant coating may not have been applied properly (a factor I do not intend to test in a hurry!) but is the labelling correct? I don't ever remember seeing a blue and white label attached to it when it was delivered, even if just "tagged" to it.

Thank you in advance for any advice you can give

Kind Regards,

Simon

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The blue and white label only applies to mattresses if you check http://www.fira.co.uk/document/fira-flammability-guide-october-2011pdf.pdf you will see images of the labels for upholstered furniture. The display label which are only required when on display in the retailer and the permanent label (Full or short) which should be permanently fixed to each item of furniture.

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I would be very grateful if you could clarify some discrepancies regarding how fire labels on furniture should appear. Through various internet searches I have found conflicting information.

One site says that the labels themselves MUST be permanently fixed to each item of furniture (3 labels required for a 3 piece suite etc.) and that they must be fixed in such a way 'that they cannot be removed without causing damage to the label'.

I have seen labels (usually made of fabric) stitched into the fabric of the furniture (some people cut them out if they cause a nuisance which leaves the label 'damaged') but some are printed on small pieces of card and stapled to the furniture. These COULD be removed (by just pulling out the staples) without causing any damage to the label.

However, I have recently seen second hand furniture being sold (some with one type label and some with the other) ALL displaying the correct wording and quoting the 1988 act. Sellers insist that both kinds of labels are legal.

My gut feeling is that any unscrupulous seller of second hand furniture could, very easily, print their own labels on thin card (using the legal wording) and attach them to the underside of chairs and settees - using a staple gun - even to older furniture filled with the older and very dangerous foam.

Clarification on this would be very helpful. Are both legal and, if so, why is this allowed when one could, so easily, be faked?

I would appreciate your help on this matter as soon as possible.

Thank you

Emma

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Hi Emma

The best flammable furniture and fittings guidance is the FIRA Flammable guides, http://www.fira.co.uk/publications/flammability-guides there you will find the BS 7177 label’s image for mattresses in the Contract Flammability Guide and the three display labels also the two permanent labels for upholstered furniture and fittings are in the Domestic Flammability Guide.

Your second statement is correct but it is all about interpretation and that is up to the enforcing authority, who is the Trading Standards, also the courts. I am also afraid the regulations have anomalies for instance they call them permanent labels, but the manufacturer is required to keep records for only five years, so you may have the details where to get the proof of flammability, but after five years it will not be available.

It is very easy to cheat the system, forging labels for example and you will not be found out until there is a fire. Then the fillings can be tested, if they fail the test the retailer and manufacturer could be prosecuted. The other option is for the Trading Standards to randomly test upholstery furniture and if they fail the tests prosecute the retailer/manufacturer, but think of the costs are TS going to do this?

I believe most legislation only works because most of us abide by the law, maybe afraid of prosecution but these attitudes are changing and as many manufacturers are foreign nationals, things may get worse. The regulations with all its faults seems to work and it maybe it's other reasons why it works, like making people more aware of the dangers of fire, who knows?

http://www.firesafe.org.uk/furniture-and-furnishings-fire-safety-regulations-19881989-and-1993/

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I recently purchased a sofa and two chairs. All items have the short version of the fire label permanently attached, but on all three the batch/article number is blank.

Am I correct in assuming there should be an identifying number for tracebility and therefore the furniture does not comply with the legislation?

Regards

Stuart.

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If a short label is used the batch/ID number should be used but it says should not must. Also the retailer should have all the relevant information so the enforcing authority can trace the source of the furniture.

Check out http://www.firesafe.org.uk/furniture-and-furnishings-fire-safety-regulations-19881989-and-1993/

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Hi Tom

Can you please tell me if this second hand sofa is fire safety compliant? This label is attached to underside."To comply with the furniture and furnishing fire safety regulations 1988 all materials in this product rely on suppliers certificates for compliance. This item does not include a schedule 3 interliner. Made in England."

Thanks

Connie

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The label you speak of is the permanent label and you can have a label giving full information or a shorter label; you have the shorter label which should state,

1. The Caution

2. Batch number or identification number

3. Whether or not the article includes a fire-resistant interliner

4. Summary for the measures taken to ensure compliance with the Regulations

Permanent labelling on furniture is intended to assist enforcement officers and show compliance with the specific ignition requirements for covers and fillings. The prime objective of the permanent label is for enforcement officers to examine a label on a piece of furniture and obtain relevant information which will enable them to find out and confirm that the materials used in the item do comply with the Regulations. They will also be able to complete a cross check of the claims being made on the label with the manufacturer’s records.

Records only have to be kept for 5 years then labels will become redundant and serve no useful purpose.

It appears your label does meet the regulation in a fashion and at sometime it did meet the regulations but it depends how old the sofa is will decide if the label has a useful purpose?

http://www.fira.co.uk/document/fira-flammability-guide-october-2011pdf.pdf

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Hi

We inherited a pair of fabric covered sofas from the previous owner of our house. They look fairly new - they are a modern/classic design - and are in good condition and it seems a shame to take them to the tip. I don't want to sell them - I would be happy to Freecycle them to save them being wasted. Unfortunately I can't find any labels on them. I wonder if they were recovered at some date and no labels were attached. (In fact I have just looked at the sofa I had recovered a few years ago with flame retardant fabric and there is no label on that...) Is there a way of testing the fire-retardancy? (Hold a match to a loose cushion?!) Can I give them away or is it too risky?

Many thanks

Ali

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Upholsterers are subject to the regulations and furniture upholstered by them should carry permanent labels. As you are not a business, selling upholstered furniture, you are not subject to the regulation and if you chose to sell or give away, the pair of fabric covered sofas, you are not guilty of an offence, but you should tell the person receiving the furniture that they may not meet the regulations and I would get it in writing signed by them.

There is no way of doing a satisfactory ad hoc test.

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