A good night's sleep – that's what most consumers want from their mattress. Starting July 1, 2007, new mattresses will offer an additional, lifesaving benefit: better protection from a fire.
Mattresses manufactured on or after July 1, 2007 must meet the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's (CPSC) flammability standard. The mandatory standard is designed to reduce the severity of mattress fires ignited by open flame sources such as candles, matches and lighters.
CPSC estimates that, once fully effective, the new federal flammability standard will prevent as many as 270 deaths and 1,330 injuries every year.
CPSC Acting Chairman Nancy Nord calls the new standard an important layer of fire protection in the home.
"The new federal flammability standard limits the spread and intensity of a mattress fire," said CPSC Acting Chairman Nancy Nord. "That will give consumers valuable time to escape their homes if there's a fire and it will save lives."
The mandatory mattress rule, known as 16 CFR Part 1633, is a performance standard that limits the heat release in a mattress fire.
When shopping for a new mattress or mattress set, consumers should look for a label on the mattress stating that it meets the federal flammability requirement, and whether it is intended to be sold alone or with a specific foundation, such as a box spring.
Although this is an added layer of protection, consumers still need to keep in mind that increased fire resistance does not mean there is no fire risk. CPSC urges consumers to follow these important fire safety tips:
- Never smoke in bed.
- Do not allow kids to play with candles, lighters, matches or smoking materials.
- Do not fall asleep while a candle is burning.
- Extinguish candles before leaving the room.
- Have working smoke alarms on each level of the home and inside every bedroom.
- In case of fire, call 911 from a safe location.
The federal open flame standard does not address ignition from cigarettes because that protection is already required. A mandatory federal standard on cigarette ignition of mattresses, 16 CFR Part 1632, has been in place for more than 30 years.
CPSC's free publication, "Sleep Safer: A Fire Resistant Mattress Can Save Your Life" (CPSC-560), offers consumers lifesaving information on the new federal open flame standard and fire safety tips. It is available in English (pdf) and Spanish (pdf) and can be ordered by sending an email request to email@example.com or by contacting CPSC's Hotline at (800) 638-2772.
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