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Guest Kam panesar

Giving sofa to charity

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Guest Kam panesar

Hi, I have a  ten year old faux leather 2 seater black (pvc) sofa. I'm trying to pass it on to a charity in my local area,  it does have a fire label which had been firmly sewn into the underneath of sofa, with loads of wording, and  it came with a picture fire label also on the corner of the sofa which was a tag.  

The charity said they can't accept the sofa if the fire label isn't attached, even I though I have it. And there is a permanent label sewn underneath.

where do I stand.

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I am assuming the sofa will be up for sale at a profit which means both labels will be required.

The permanent label is the most important, because it has all the information required by trading standards to locate its source, if it is found that the the sofa does not meet the requirements of the regulations. The display label is attached to the sofa, to show that it meets the requirements of the regulations and the customer doesn't have to upend it to see the permanent label for proof. The display label needs to be fixed to the item where it is visible which can be done by the retailer and they can be purchased from Ebay so I can see why the charity is concerned.

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

 

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Guest Helen2010

I have a similar situation with a divan bed I want to donate to a charity shop that sells second hand furniture at very low prices (or nothing at all) to people on low income. They will accept the divan (indeed they are very keen) but only if labels are on the mattress and base.The mattress has a fire safety label but the base does not. The manufacturers say that the fire safety label was not attached to the base at the time it was manufactured  as 'the labels were not supplied at this point hence why your base does not have one'. A rather bizarre statement. The retailer (a well known national furniture retailer) says that it is not necessary for both the base and mattress to have the fire safety labels - it suffices to have just one as the divan comes as a set. They claim to have dozens of divan sets in store where the base does not have the requisite label. What is the correct position? Grateful for any input as I really want the charity to have this item and for it not to end up in landfill!

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The divan base and the mattress is separate items and therefore require individual labelling, if the mattress is separated from the divan base then there would be no permanent label to indicate the divan base met the standards. Check out Fire safety of furniture and furnishings in the home - A Guide to the UK Regulations

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Many thanks for this Tom. It is as I suspected and since yesterday the retailer has agreed that the base should have been separately labelled. Heaven knows what they are going to do with all the other unlabelled divan bases they claimed to have in store! They have however agreed to dispose of the base free of charge. The charity will take the mattress on its own.

 

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The Furniture Regulations are very confusing on these points. But don't expect clarity any time soon! The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has been sitting on proposed changes it put out for consultation in 2016. Those proposals were very inadequate anyway. For political reasons, the proposals were rushed out by a new team who know next to nothing about the regulations, and do not even have any files on them! They were completely unaware, for example, that everyone had agreed to propose a new permanent label carrying the words: DO NOT REMOVE THIS LABEL. Since people currently often do then find they can't sell a product on.

The position with charities is also unclear. The Guidance to the Regulations (see below) suggests that if a charity is selling furniture in the course of a business, i.e. in a charity shop, then all the labelling requirements must be followed. If however, a charity is giving furniture away for free or for a small fee, then it probably doesn't have to comply with the Regulations. Most charities, however - understandably perhaps - will not take furniture from you that does carry the permanent label.

Labelling is again confusing. First, there are no labelling requirements for mattresses and bed-bases under the Furniture Regulations (unlike for sofas). For reasons that no one knows, mattress covers/ticking does not fall into the scope of the Regulations. It therefore by default falls under EU law - the General Product Safety Regulations (Brexit should be interesting here). Just to complicate things even further, the GPSD is advisory not prescriptive like the Furniture Regs. The advice under the GPSR is that mattress covers should pass BS7177. BS7177 has labelling requirements.

In practice, therefore, mattresses and bed-bases should carry the BS7177 label, even though it is not illegal if they don't.

On guidance, as I've said before, for potential legal reasons I would not use - or at least not rely on - FIRA's guide. It contains errors, just like the government's guidance but I would use the latter's, just in case: http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/http:/www.bis.gov.uk/files/file24685.pdf

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