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Fire safety when up-cycling materials


Guest Vivskelh

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Guest Vivskelh

I work for the Welsh Air Ambulance charity shop as a volunteer.

Can you please advise whether it is legal to up-cycle materials and fillings which have been donated to the shop into craft items to sell in the shop?

As an example, we can turn a bed sheet or duvet cover into a doorstop or draught excluder to sell in the shop. In doing this we need to use a filling. Is it legal to use a bag of filling which has been donated (no markings on the bag so we don't know where it's from) or, alternatively, buy a new bag from a reputable supplier?

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It depends on what you are making, if it falls within the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations then it would have to meet the requirements of the regulations. Check out Guide to the Regulations and decide if you need to comply with the regulations but most furnishings in the home fall under the regulation.

This means,

Filling materials must meet specified ignition requirements.

Upholstery composites must be cigarette resistant.

Covers must be match resistant (with certain exceptions as outlined in Section 8.2 and Appendix A5).

A permanent label must be fitted to every item of new furniture (with the exception of mattresses and bed-bases). A display label must be fitted to every item of new furniture at the point of sale (with the exception of mattresses, bed-bases, pillows, scatter cushions, seat pads, loose covers sold separately from the furniture and stretch covers).

The first supplier of domestic upholstered furniture in the UK must maintain records for five years to prove compliance.

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  • 4 months later...
Guest AndreaGib

We have Lots of materials in our shop that are unfit for sale, or we have in abundance, that we hope to upcycle to try and make a little more money. How are we covered if we turn a jumper into a cushion cover for example, or silk scarves into a curtain. How do we label them to be compliant with fire regulations. Am keen to crack on and make some lovely stuff, but want to ensure that safety comes first.

Thank you in advance.
Andrea

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Depends on what you intend to make, for instance curtains in the domestic situation is not subject to the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (amended 1989, 1993 and 2010) but scatter cushions are. If you study the guide it will detail all the items that are subject to the regulations and to what extent, also the labeling/testing that is required.

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

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  • 3 years later...

Hi, couldn't see the regulations on your page...

I would like to upcycle sample printed silk pieces into scatter cushions...

does this silk  cushion cover fabric  have to be fire retardented? and if so, does it need a label?

 

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The Regulations apply only to the filling material of pillows, scatter cushions and pads of the type supplied for use on the seats of wooden chairs.

Foam fillings must pass the specified test. When non-foam fillings are used either the filling material itself must pass the appropriate test or, if the item has primary cover, then the filling material together with that primary cover must pass the specified test.

The Regulations do not apply to the decorative cover of scatter cushions and seat pads, or to covers for these items which are sold separately.

If the regulations apply then it will have to have the required labels.

Check out Fire safety of furniture and furnishings in the home - A Guide to the UK Regulations guide 1  or Fire safety of furniture and furnishings in the home - A Guide to the UK Regulations guide 2

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest furnishings from Abroad

Hi,  I am an upholsterer.  In the last month I have had 3 instances of newly purchased furniture that is constructed using the really bad polyeurathane foam.  The first was a wooden dining chair, bentwood design, with a crossed back.  This design is very common in the uk, it had a rush seat but underneath was the foam.

The other two instances were people who had been living in Singapore and Hong Kong and had brought back high end designer chairs/sofas.  All these were purchased recently and contained so much really bad foam.  I had an opportunity to burn two of the seat cushions outside and the result was awful,  it was like burning a can of petrol and the awful brown tar residue was stuck to the ground like treacle. 

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The Regulations apply only to manufacturers, importers and retailers, you and not buyers so if they wish to put there families at risk that is their right but they should be warned. Another problem is many believe the regulations are not fit for purpose and should be revised which has started but unfortunately the government is dragging their heels.  

Check out Fire safety of furniture and furnishings in the home - A Guide to the UK Regulations guide 1  or Fire safety of furniture and furnishings in the home - A Guide to the UK Regulations guide 2

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Guest Zsu the upholsterer

Hi Tom, thank you for your reply and the regulations.  Very useful.  I personally test the foam with a match.  I will not reupholster anything that I consider dangerous and replace foam whenever suspicious.  Do not allow customers to provide their own fabric and when it's explained to them they always see the sense.  You are right the regulations do not go far enough, obviously reupholstering something that is not safe means the life of it's potential to harm has been extended.  Great blog!  I am supposed to have retired but love my job too much.

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  • 1 year later...
Guest Mary

Hello, 

I am a small scale producer/maker of scatter cushions. The outer design cover is made from 100% wool; mostly British wool. I have been buying the cushion inserts from Dunelm, which have the necessary fire testing regulation label attached. 

I would like to make my own cushion inserts using fire retardant cotton curtain lining (probably purchased from Dunelm!) and filled with 100% raw fleece. Alternatively I could simply fill the cushion cover itself with raw fleece and do away with the insert. 

I am unsure what testing and/or labelling will be required and would greatly appreciate your advice please. 

Thank you very much. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest Tracey

Hi i have started upcycling such things as stools/chairs to then sell on. 

1. Do I need to meet fire safety regulations?

2. How do I meet these regulations? 

Thank you for any advice. 

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