Make Your Voice Heard: Take Action to Prevent Legislation that would Mislead Consumers

  • Fires are a real danger: according to the National Fire Protection Agency, one structure fire was reported every 66 seconds in the U.S. in 2012. At the same time, flame retardants have been proven to help stop or slow the spread of fires and save lives.
  • This is why the California Assembly should oppose SB 1019—a bill that requires new furniture labels.
  • The proposed label would be incomplete and misleading—omitting the fact that furniture components are no longer required to withstand open-flame sources, like lighters, candles and matches.
  • The label would also include misleading information about flame retardants, making sweeping generalizations about these important chemistries.
  • The legislation tries to steer consumers away from furniture with flame retardants, even though flame retardants help manufactures meet or exceed California’s upholstered furniture fire standards.

Consumers have a right to know, but the proposed legislation does not give consumers all the information

  • This year, California significantly changed fire safety standards in the state by no longer requiring furniture to be tested for resistance to open flames, like candles and matches.
  • A recent survey in California (sponsored by the American Chemistry Council) indicates that 82 percent of likely voters want information about the changes to the fire safety standard when purchasing furniture.
  • But the label that SB 1019 mandates would not provide consumers with information that about the fact that fire safety standards were recently weakened and that furniture components are no longer required to withstand open flames.
  • Californians have the right to know whether a product has been tested for resistance to open flame sources of ignition.
  • Fire protection groups offered the following comments on the change:

California Conference of Arson Investigators: “The Elimination of the Open Flame Ignition Test is a Significant Step Backward.” (CCAI comments to Bureau of Electronic and Appliance Repair, Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation on proposed changes to TB 117, March 6, 2013)

National Fire Protection Association:  A Fire Safety Standard Should “Address the Full Spectrum of Major Fire Scenarios.” (NFPA comments to Bureau of Electronic and Appliance Repair, Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation on proposed changes to TB 117, March 22, 2013)

Underwriters Laboratories, Inc:“An Open Flame Test is a Necessary Addition to Smoldering Test Requirements.” (U L, Inc. comments to Bureau of Electronic and Appliance Repair, Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation on proposed changes to TB 117, March 20, 2013)

 

Contact: Bryan Goodman