CPSC votes to begin rulemaking to improve the fire safety of mattresses
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission voted (3-0) today to begin developing a safety standard to reduce the severity of mattress fires and to make mattresses less flammable. The new standard will address fires ignited by sources such as candles, matches and lighters. The goal is to minimize the deaths and injuries from fires started in bedding and mattresses by limiting the size and spread of the fire. There already is a federal standard requiring mattresses to be resistant to cigarette ignition.
Mattress and bedding fires are one of the leading causes of injuries and were second only to upholstered furniture in the number of fire-related deaths in 1998. In 1998, mattresses or bedding items were first to ignite in about 18,100 residential fires that resulted in 390 deaths and 2,160 hospital emergency room injuries. Additionally, these fires cost more than $200 million in property damage. CPSC estimates that a new safety standard could significantly reduce the deaths, injuries and property damage from mattress-related fires.
“Tragically, young children are often the victims of mattress fires,” said CPSC Chairman Ann Brown. “From 1994 through 1998, over three-quarters of the deaths relating to mattress and bedding fires ignited from such sources as candles, lighters and matches were to children under the age of 15.”
Most of these fires begin when a small, open flame ignites bedding. The bedding fire can then grow into a much larger fire involving the mattress.
Today’s vote directs the CPSC staff to issue an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking for publication in the Federal Register, which is the first step in agency rulemaking.
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Nathan Montery is a successful author and regular contributor to http://mattressreviews.co. Choose from a large variety of mattress types and get a good night’s sleep!