Recent policy changes, including the revised furniture flammability standard TB117-2013, represent a tremendous opportunity for the furniture industry to improve occupational and environmental health throughout California and the world by ensuring fire safe furniture without added flame retardant chemicals.
The resources on this page provide information relevant to furniture manufacturers and retailers, including information about TB117-2013 and the transition to compliance with this new standard.
On January 1, 2014, California’s Bureau of Electronic and Appliance Repair, Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation (BEARHFTI) changed the statewide furniture flammability standard from the long-standing Technical Bulletin 117 to the revised Technical Bulletin 117-2013.
The old standard assessed furniture flammability with an open flame test of the exposed foam filling. The new standard uses a smolder test on an assembly of filling, fabric, and barrier material to more accurately simulate the conditions leading to furniture fires.
It is estimated that 85% of upholstery fabrics currently in use will pass compliance, regardless of filling material.
Our fact sheet for manufacturers addresses many questions on this subject and will be kept updated as the Bureau releases further details.
Research conducted by the Green Science Policy Institute has shown that flame retardant use in children’s products has been widespread. Children are especially vulnerable to exposure because of their lower body mass and increased hand-to-mouth contact compared with adults.
In response to these findings, the California Bureau of Electronic and Appliance Repair, Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation (BEARHFTI), which sets statewide product flammability standards, has included special exemptions for many juvenile products, including:
- booster seats
- car seats
- changing pads
- floor play mats
- highchair pads
- infant bouncers
- infant seats
- infant swings
- infant walkers
- nursing pads
- playpen side pads
- portable hook-on chairs
BEARHFTI has determined that these products are “deemed to pose no serious fire hazard.”
Green Science Policy Institute provides information to the public as a service. The content of our website, publications, and correspondence should not be considered advice or endorsement and is for informational purposes only. As a scientific institute, we strive for accuracy; however, occasional errors are unavoidable. Green Science Policy Institute is not responsible for decisions made based on information we provide.