Every year, thousands of home fires occur in the United States, many of which start in the bedroom. Mattresses that lack flame retardant technology pose significant safety risks due to their flammability when exposed to open flames such as matches, lighters and candles. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is addressing this issue by imposing the Mattress Open Flame Standard, otherwise known as 16 CFR 1633. This federal regulation goes into effect on July 1, 2007, setting new government flammability standards on all mattresses and box springs manufactured in and imported into the United States.
[Editor's note: A number of industry sources and retailers of "natural and organic bedding" have questioned the long term health effects of some chemicals that can be used to economically achieve compliance with new mattress flammability standards. They contend that these substances "offgas" over time. Detailed information is not generally published by manufacturers, available research is confusing and so this seems to be largely a "grey" area. This note is for general reader information only, and does not relate to Serta or any specific bedding manufacturer.]
Serta Mattress Company says that they have been at the forefront of compliance since the introduction of their FireBlocker(R) system in January 2005, meeting and exceeding all open-flame criteria that is now considered mandatory for mattress brands.
"Serta has long recognized the importance of open-flame bedroom safety which is why we initiated our FireBlocker system over two years ago," says Kelly Rampson, Serta's Director of Marketing. "We are pleased that the Consumer Product Safety Commission continues to support high industry standards by enforcing the new open-flame regulations."
All Serta mattresses and box springs are manufactured with FireBlocker, a fire barrier system made from a proprietary blend of natural and synthetic fibers that helps isolate the impact of a fire and limits its spread. This technology slows the spread of a mattress fire, giving individuals and their families critical time to escape a bedroom fire and call for help.
"Children often run the risk of playing with fire, and likely will do so in the privacy of a bedroom," said Al Klancnik, Serta's group vice president and former chairman of the Sleep Product Safety Council. "One way to deter the often fatal effects of a bedroom fire is to own a flame retardant mattress. It's also as imperative that parents talk to their children about the importance of fire safety," says Klancnik.
What Serta Says Consumers Should Know
- Hundreds of lives may be saved and nearly 1,330 injuries per year may be prevented with the new government flammability standard.
- Look for the mandatory CPSC label, designating the product's compliance with the new standard. Mattresses and box springs produced in or imported into the U.S. prior to July 1, 2007, may not comply with new regulations and are at risk of igniting in a matter of minutes if exposed to an open-flame source.
- Purchase both a 1633 compliant mattress and a box spring, to insure that both pieces of the set meet the new federal regulation.
About Serta: Serta is a bedding brand leader and manufacturer. Headquartered in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, Serta has 24 U.S. and four Canadian manufacturing plants. In addition, Serta is distributed internationally in 60 other countries. With its worldwide network, Serta is able to respond quickly to customers' needs while still preserving strict control standards to ensure the highest quality products.
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