US Congress on December 21, 2020 passed an omnibus spending bill (H.R. 133) and later signed into law by US President. Named as the “COVID-19 Regulatory Relief and Work from Home Safety Act” the law adopts the California upholstered furniture flammability standard TB 117-2013 as a federal standard in the United States.

SAFEGUARDS | Consumer ProductsNO. 008/21

 SG 00821 Living room

US Congress passed an Omnibus Spending bill signed by US President on December 281. Among other things, the bill contains as TITLE XXI, COVID–19 Regulatory Relief and Work from Home Safety Act. The Act requires US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to mandate a Federal furniture flammability standard by adopting the California standard California’s Technical Bulletin 117-2013.

For more than five years, American Home Furnishings Alliance (AHFA), a furniture industry group, has pushed for adoption of California’s revised flammability standard, Technical Bulletin 117-2013 by petitioning CPSC to adopt the performance standards and test methods prescribed under California Standard as a national, mandatory flammability standard for residential furniture2.

CPSC staff in a 2016 briefing package3, evaluated the feasibility, benefits, and costs of adopting TB 117-2013 as a mandatory national standard. TB117-2013, uses a small-scale mockup test that includes a test method to evaluate components, including cover materials, used in the construction of upholstered furniture. The test is based on ASTM E1353, which, in turn, is based on UFAC, a voluntary standard the furniture industry adopted 40 years ago. The test method is intended to address fires caused by a smoldering ignition source only. 

The Commission agency evaluated the prospective benefits and costs of adopting the measure but, in September 2016, announced it would pursue “alternative approaches that address the hazard through a combination of research, education and outreach, and voluntary standards efforts.” However, no alternative approaches to the TB 117-2013 standard have been proposed by the Commission. 

SGS is committed to providing information about development in regulations for consumer products as complimentary services. Through a global network of laboratories, SGS provides a wide range of services including physical/mechanical testing, analytical testing and consultancy work for technical and non-technical parameters applicable to a comprehensive range of consumer products. In the end, it’s only trusted because it’s tested. Contact us for more information or visit our website.

References

1 Rules Committee Print 116–68. Text of the House Amendment to the Senate Amendment to H.R. 133
2 American Home Furnishings Alliance 
3 Upholstered Furniture Flammability 

For enquiries, please contact:

Sanjeev Gandhi
Consumer & Retail - Hardlines
Deputy Vice President
t: +1 973 461 7924

 

Louann Spirito
Consumer & Retail - Softlines
US & Canada Softlines Business Head
t: +1 973 461 7919

 

Stay on top of regulatory changes within your industry: subscribe to SafeGuardS!

Read more articles for the Consumer Goods and Retail industry

© SGS Group Management SA - 2021 - All rights reserved - SGS is a registered trademark of SGS Group Management SA. This is a publication of SGS, except for 3rd parties’ contents submitted or licensed for use by SGS. SGS neither endorses nor disapproves said 3rd parties contents. This publication is intended to provide technical information and shall not be considered an exhaustive treatment of any subject treated. It is strictly educational and does not replace any legal requirements or applicable regulations. It is not intended to constitute consulting or professional advice. The information contained herein is provided “as is” and SGS does not warrant that it will be error-free or will meet any particular criteria of performance or quality. Do not quote or refer any information herein without SGS’s prior written consent.