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Furniture Overview

The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations 1988 (as amended in 1989, 1993 and 2010) set levels of fire resistance for new or second hand domestic upholstered furniture, as well as any other furnishings or products containing upholstery. This legislation was introduced to ensure basic standards of fire resistance were applied to all furniture on sale within the UK.

This legislation references a range of British Standards relating to the ignition resistance requirements for upholstered furniture and filling materials, and the extent of testing needed for foam and non-foam fillings, composites, inter-liners and covers. It also defines the necessary product labelling and outlines the importance of commercial suppliers of upholstered furniture retaining records for a minimum of five years.

Any furniture manufactured after 1/1/1950 for domestic use is subject to these regulations.

The regulations are applicable to manufacturers, retailers and importers of upholstered furniture, as well as the suppliers of filling materials and fabrics to the furniture industry or direct to consumers. They also apply to those who offer re-upholstery and re-covering services and anyone supplying second hand furniture in the course of business or trade, e.g. auctioneers.

In legislative terms, non-domestic upholstered furniture is governed differently, falling under the remit of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, commonly abbreviated to RRFSO. This legislation covers all aspects of fire safety within non-domestic premises, and by extension covers any furniture that is present within a non-domestic setting.

There are British Standards that apply exclusively to non-domestic furnishings. These are covered in detail in our non-domestic furniture section.

It should also be noted that the supply of all furniture is covered generally by the General Product Safety Regulations 2005 (GPSR). This is a general piece of legislation that governs the supply of all goods, and ensures products available for purchase are fit for purpose - including issues such as fire resistance.


Reviewed: 01/10/2019 (doc:105 V1.0). Our articles are reviewed regularly. However, any changes made to standards or legislation following the review date will not have been considered. Please note that we provide abridged, easy-to-understand guidance. To make detailed decisions about your fire safety provisions, you might require further advice or need to consult the full standards and legislation.


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