The phrase “codes and standards” refers to a body of requirements and guidelines that provide product designers with instructions on how a product should perform or be built. In the context of fire safety, codes and standards establish minimum performance requirements for how a product responds to an ignition source like a spark, flame, or other heat source. There are no known codes or standards that explicitly require the use of flame retardants.
Generally speaking, codes are guidelines that have been adopted into regulation and are enforceable. State and municipal building codes are good examples. Standards are generally voluntary in nature, although the expectation to comply with a standard can be equally as strong as the expectation to comply with a law.
Codes and fire safety standards play a critical role in making our lives safer. They help make homes, offices, furniture, electronics, and other consumer goods safer.
Manufacturers have several options for meeting the performance requirements in fire safety codes and standards, including the use of flame retardants.
Fire safety codes and standards are typically managed by independent, third-party organizations using processes that reflect principles of openness and transparency.
Codes and standards are updated regularly, drawing upon subject matter experts from government, industry, academia, and public health and safety organizations.