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Responsibilities for upscaled/upholstered furniture.

Mr Hutch

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I am looking into setting up an upholstery and furniture making business (buying second hand furniture and upscaling/reupholstering) but have hit a dip in the road during my research. In short I am looking to clear up my responsabilities in terms of fire risk and although I have read through the "Fire safety of furniture and furnishings in the home" FIRA guide and have concluded the following I would be very grateful if someone could confirm and comment on my conclusions. (Fira are very slow at getting back to my request for help)

  • Although the scale of my business would be small and mainly based online and at fairs I am classed as a first retailer.
  • As a first retailer I am responsible to ensure that my materials/fabrics/stuffings meet the required standards as laid out in the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations 1988/1989, 1993 and 2010.
  • It is my responsability to ensure that I can obtain documented evidence of any fabrics/stuffings meeting those standards and to hold this information for at least 5 years.
  • If I cannot obtain documentary evidence then I am best off not using that particular supplier and finding someone that will supply the documentation.

Additionally if I were just repainting a piece of furnature and not removing or adding fabrics of my own, as long as the piece was made after 1950 I am just to advise about fire risk and leave the original warning stickers in place. The same would be true for any materials given to me by a customer to use on the piece. 

I am looking into insurance but does anyone have any advice on what level and reliable companies.

Thank you for your help

Mr Hutch.

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You would be a manufacturer/re-upholsterer/retailer either way you would be subject to the regulations.

As I have said you will be subject to the regulations and would need to ensure all materials/fabrics/stuffings meet the required standards. With documented proof and holding the required documents for 5 years.

If your supplier cannot provide documented proof then I would suggest you find another supplier but I think this is unlikely to happen.

Using the customer's materials, give advice and not altering the upholstery, just to advise about fire risk and leave the original warning stickers in place.

You seem to have a good understanding of the regulations however to get guidance from FIRA I think you will have to join which may be a good idea.   


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Guest Mr Hutch


Thank you very much for your help. I thought I was understanding it pretty much right but wanted to be absolutely sure. 


Thanks Tom. 


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