Mattress Safety Rules Revised |

Mattress Safety Rules Revised

Kathleen Hom(c) 2007, The Washington Post

WASHINGTON – Beginning July 1, all new mattresses and mattress sets must meet revised fire-safety standards, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The commission’s new guidelines do not make mattresses fireproof. But the measures are expected to slow fires by controlling the spread of open flames, decreasing fire intensity and delaying what is called flashover, when the entire mattress is engulfed in flames. Under the current standards, that fearsome point can be reached in less than five minutes. Most mattress fires are caused by children playing with open flames, according to the CPSC. The commission estimates that at least 240 mattress fire-related deaths and more than 1,000 injuries will be prevented with the new rules, by giving people more time to escape. Manufacturers can comply by coating mattresses in chemicals or by making them with fire-retardant materials. New mattresses that meet the guidelines will carry a mandatory label referring to the commission’s new rule, 16 CHR Part 1633. Look for the label, because stores will be allowed to sell non-compliant mattresses they had in stock before the rule took effect.

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