All references to fire resistance within The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations 1988 are in relation to upholstered furnishing. Therefore purely wooden furniture is not covered by this legislation. General safety principles must of course still be observed for any wooden furniture sold within the UK as per the General Product Safety Regulations 2005 (GPSR).
If there are any covers or cushions supplied with wooden furniture, then these are covered by the legislation and would need to carry labels.
Antique furniture produced prior to 1950 is also exempt from the legislation. However, care must be taken if refurbishing an antique chair for sale, as although there are no labelling requirements for antique furniture, the legislation does specify that all covering fabrics and filling materials used for re-upholstering must be fire resistant.
Individuals refurbishing or creating items of furniture for personal use would be advised to use fire resistant materials wherever possible, but are not affected by the legislation unless selling the furniture as part of a business, or using it as part of a commercial activity.
Another exclusion from the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations 1998 is furniture which is deemed as unsuitable for use within dwellings – e.g. garden furniture which would not physically fit indoors.
This would include non-upholstered garden furniture (deck-chairs and parasols) and the fabric of any removable canopy element of upholstered garden furniture which is intended to act as sunshade or waterproof cover when the item is used in open air. If there is any likelihood of the garden furniture being brought inside the dwelling for use or storage then it does need to comply with the regulations. All upholstered cushions, whether tie-on or permanent, that are supplied for use with garden or outdoor furniture are required to satisfy the regulations. Each separate finished item and removable cushion set should have a permanent label.
It has been observed that 'Not for Indoor Use' labels are often attached to outdoor products. This can be with the intention of making these products exempt from the requirements of the regulations. However, if there is any likelihood of an outdoor upholstered furniture item being brought indoors (and if it is possible to physically carry this item indoors), then this product must comply with the regulations, regardless of any labels stating 'Not for Indoor Use'.
Reviewed: 01/10/2019 (doc:108 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.