Next week, two furniture associations will jointly host an industry event focusing on the UK’s flammability regulations, following a BBC investigation earlier this year into non-compliant products.
The Technical Flammability Seminar, run by the British Furniture Manufacturers (BFM) and the Furniture Industry Research Association (FIRA), is aimed at manufacturers and will take place on Thursday 11th April at FIRA’s headquarters in Stevenage.
In January, an episode of consumer affairs programme Fake Britain highlighted a number of furniture products on sale in the UK that did not comply with flammability regulations. Since then, the furniture industry has been working hard to understand how these products have slipped through the net, looking at tightening due diligence processes to prevent issues in the future.
“The Fake Britain investigation has caused some concern, and highlighted some weaknesses in current due diligence systems,” says Phil Reynolds, COO for FIRA International. “FIRA’s flammability experts have been working with a number of retailers to find practical solutions. We recently arranged a meeting involving retailers, manufacturers, back-coaters and chemical suppliers to discuss potential issues, solutions and risk minimisation. FIRA is also carrying out some testing following a proposal by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) to amend the UK’s flammability regulations. This event will be aimed purely at manufacturers and is designed to provide technical information to help the industry pull together to resolve the issues highlighted by the programme.”
The agenda for the day will include information about the fall-out from the Fake Britain investigation, and the work being carried out to understand the problems with the supply chain and find solutions going forward. It will also look at FIRA’s research into BIS’ proposal for the new regulations.
The seminar will start at 10:30am and finish at 2pm with lunch provided. It will be held at FIRA’s headquarters on Maxwell Road, Stevenage, Hertfordshire SG1 3EW.