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Donating 1970s furniture


Guest PeterWils
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Guest PeterWils

What is the legal position regarding furniture / upholstered chairs that were produced in the 1970's when fire safety labels were not required?

The reason I ask is that we have some perfect condition furniture to donate and charity shops are refusing to accept due to them not having a fire label.

It would be a great shame if this meant that all older furniture had to be scrapped.

Thank you in advance for any advice you might give.

Kind regards,

Peter

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A 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 but I am afraid upholstered furniture manufactured in the 1970's is subject to the regulations.
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Just curious Tom.

How can an item of furniture made in the 70's have a label for a regulation that came into being in 1988?

______________________________

Peter

The charity shops are just "covering all bases" by refusing to take the furniture.

It could be a piece of furniture had a label which has since been damaged, but as it can not be read, it will be deemed to have no valid label.

Yes it is a shame that they will not take the furniture, but as a private individual you can dispose of it privately. So you could advertise it in your local paper as a "free to collector" item.

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From the 1988 Regulations

4. The requirements of these Regulations do not apply -

a. in relation to the supply of any goods manufactured before 1 January 1950

b. in relation to the supply of materials when the person supplying them knows or has reasonable cause to believe that they will be used for re-covering or re-upholstering furniture manufactured before 1st January 1950; or

c. in any case where the person supplying goods to which those requirements relate knows or has reasonable cause to believe that the goods will not be used in the United Kingdom.

So any goods made after 1 January 1950 is subject to the Regulations, which mean you cannot sell any items but if you choose you could re-upholstery them and then sell them. You can also give them away but it is not advised because you would be putting people’s lives at risk.

I do accept that it is a little strange, applying legislation retrospectively but it appears this is what they have done.

Check out http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1988/1324/contents/made

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Guest MichaelBlackm

I have two sofas which were made for my mother in about 1975. They have wooden frames and are upholstered with springs, horsehair and wadding with a cotton fabric covering. They also have two sets of loose covers in cotton or linen. The cushions are filed with feathers. I want to sell these on eBay. They have no fire safety labels attached. Am I able to do this as long as I state that they do not have fire safety labels?

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Hi there - I have recently been buying cushion inserts, with a view to resale through the internet when made into cushions.

Some of the inserts say that they comply with BS 5852, and others say that they comply with the fire safety regulations 1988 - are both of these acceptable? Is there a difference between them ? Many thanks Judy

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I have two sofas which were made for my mother in about 1975. They have wooden frames and are upholstered with springs, horsehair and wadding with a cotton fabric covering. They also have two sets of loose covers in cotton or linen. The cushions are filed with feathers. I want to sell these on eBay. They have no fire safety labels attached. Am I able to do this as long as I state that they do not have fire safety labels?

This sounds like a hypothetical question but I will answer it as best as I can.

I believe the date 1/1/1950 was chosen because the furniture manufactured before that date was most likely as described above, after that date synthetic material began to be introduced which caused many additional problems. Furniture manufactured before that date would not pass the match or cigarette test and did go on fire but the aftermath was not as severe however synthetic materials ignited easily and the aftermath was severe.

Because the legislation decided on 1/1/1950 any furniture manufactured after that date is subject to the regulations which includes your mother furniture and requires a permanent label to be sold. In my opinion if you try to sell this furniture, even with the warning, you will probably be in breech of the law.

The enforcing authority for the regulations is the trading standards check it out with them. http://www.firesafe.org.uk/furniture-and-furnishings-fire-safety-regulations-19881989-and-1993/

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Can I recycle to charity a bed and headboard labelled with 1988 safety labels?

Bed bases is controlled by both the Regulations and the GPSR. Only the filling material (foam or non-foam) contained in a mattress, upholstered divan or bed base must meet the Regulations. However, the fire safety of the complete product is controlled via the GPSR. The normal route to achieve legal obligations is to have products evaluated against the British Standard best suited to product safety. In this context, a finished mattress and mattress topper, divan or bed base should comply with the low hazard category of BS 7177. Upholstered headboards must meet the full requirements of the Regulations.

So if it carries a low hazard category of BS 7177 label is is fine.

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I have two sofas which were made for my mother in about 1975. I want to sell these on eBay.

I have just looked on said auction site, most sofas that came up are less than 1 year old, I did search again for very old sofas, one was going for 99p another for £10, and no bids on either, my point being (sorry to say this) I don't think they will sell even if you had a label.

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Hi there - I have recently been buying cushion inserts, with a view to resale through the internet when made into cushions.

Some of the inserts say that they comply with BS 5852, and others say that they comply with the fire safety regulations 1988 - are both of these acceptable? Is there a difference between them ? Many thanks Judy

BS 5852 is one of the tests used in The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations so basically they are saying the same thing. Check out http://www.fira.co.uk/document/fira-flammability-guide-october-2011pdf.pdf

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  • 1 year later...

Guest Michael Blackburn

The regulations affect:

  • Persons who supply furniture, furnishings or re upholstery services including:
    • Manufacturers
    • Retailers
    • Importers
  • Persons who supply filling materials and fabrics to the furniture industry or direct to consumers
  • Persons who supply re-upholstery and re-covering services
  • Persons who supply second-hand furniture in the course of business or trade (e.g. auctioneers,
    charities).

In addition a service provider of rented accomodoation.

 

Selling your own private property is not "in the course of business" and you would neither be in breech nor breach.

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  • 5 years later...
Guest I have 2 sofas which are f

I have 2 vintage (1950's) armchairs which are family heirlooms.  They do not have fire safety labels. I would hate to see them go to landfill.  I am willing to give them away to a good home. This is unlikely to be a charity shop as it would be illegal to sell them on.  Can I give them away on a recycling website such as Freecycle ?

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