The Furniture Industry Research Association has launched its new compliance scheme for the Fire Performance of Upholstered Furniture.

The scheme aims to offer reassurance that a manufacturer, retailer, upholsterer or supplier of upholstered furniture has suitable processes and procedures in place to demonstrate due diligence compliance with the Furniture & Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations (FFFSR).

The Furniture Industry Research Association has entered into a Primary Authority Co-ordinated Partnership with Hertfordshire Trading Standards, so participants of the scheme will be part of a regulated group and benefit from Assured Advice.

Speaking on the launch of the new scheme, association director Phil Reynolds says: “The scheme was developed as the research association identified that whilst the Furniture & Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations determine how materials used in the construction of upholstered furniture must be tested, they don’t determine the due diligence systems that should be used to effectively control materials throughout the manufacturing process to ensure ongoing compliance.

“Although a number of guidance documents are available, there is still widespread misunderstanding about the application of and means of compliance with the regulations. This led us to develop the new compliance scheme.

“I would like to thank all those from across the furniture supply chain who supported the Research Association in our efforts to bring this scheme to fruition.”

The scheme is open to manufacturers, retailers and upholsterers of any size who deal with upholstered products including chairs, sofas, stools, floor and scatter cushions and materials. There are no special requirements or criteria to join the scheme, which is open to members and non-members of the association – but there is a required audit which must be passed prior to gaining certified company status.

The first certified company of the compliance scheme has been confirmed as nationwide sofa and carpet specialist ScS.

Chief executive David Knight says: “We’re proud to be leading the way within the furniture industry as the first national retailer to become a certified company of FIRA’s Compliance Scheme for the Fire Performance of Upholstered Furniture, giving our customers and stakeholders even further assurance of our long-term commitments to fire safety standards and the quality of our products.

“Safety is our utmost priority and at the very core of our business. Achieving certified company status by meeting the rigorous audit standards set out by FIRA demonstrates our commitment to the very highest standards when it comes to fire safety, and dovetails perfectly with our own stringent product testing programme. Being the first national retailer to achieve certified company status allows our customers to buy with even more confidence. Over the next 12 months our focus will also be working closely with our supply chain to ensure they can demonstrate the same continued commitment to fire safety.”

On 8th February, the research association is hosting two sessions with Hertfordshire Trading Standards focusing on the new compliance scheme. Click here for further details and to reserve a place.