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UFAC Launches New Online Portal for Make Life Safer Plus Program

Furniture World News Desk on 1/4/2023

The Upholstered Furniture Action Council, an industry safety association with 45 years of leadership in reducing residential upholstery fires, launched a new website at www.ufac.org with online portals to help manage compliance testing and record keeping for its consumer awareness and protection programs. Program education is also supported by a new logo, verification seals and tags, text/email subscription service, and a new QR code for retail floor sales.

UFAC has further developed its bold new program, Make Life Safer Plus, in direct response to consumers’ questions about the presence of flame-retardant (FR) chemicals in upholstered furniture. The Make Life Safer Plus verification program serves as the only voluntary testing program of its kind for furniture manufacturers to demonstrate their commitment to removing these commonly used FR chemicals. Manufacturers who wish to showcase the extra efforts they have taken to ensure their customers’ safety should voluntarily test their furniture to UFAC standards. If components meet UFAC’s program requirements, brands can proudly place the well-known Make Life Safer Plus Hangtag on their products to differentiate themselves from competitors.

UFAC worked with one of the world’s leading chemists on flame retardants, along with a variety of industry experts, to develop and expand its program to demonstrate that upholstered furniture components have met rigorous independent third-party testing and verification. UFAC’s test protocol screens for the presence of FR chemicals, which have been among the most widely used in upholstered furniture.

Many of the FR chemicals covered in the UFAC protocol have been banned by over a dozen states and have raised health concerns among consumers. Due to its large volume testing discounts, UFAC also provides an attractive and cost-effective option for manufacturers to conduct this advanced chemical FR testing on foam and cover fabrics.

“This new testing program actively encourages responsible companies to demonstrate their commitment to their customers,” said Don Coleman, president of UFAC. “To provide peace of mind, the Make Life Safer Plus program actually tests furniture components. The states do not require testing.”

The testing protocol, developed collaboratively by world-renowned Duke University researcher Dr. Heather Stapleton and other chemical and materials experts, now tests not only foam but also upholstery fabric as well, Coleman said. Tests are administered by independent and accredited third-party laboratories that have been approved by UFAC for the program.

“The Make Life Safer Plus program allows manufacturers and retail sales associates to speak confidently and knowledgeably about a manufacturer’s efforts to produce safer furniture for the home,” said Coleman.

“No other organization besides UFAC has the infrastructure and relationships to bring together these various stakeholders to formulate such a meaningful testing program.”

Qualifying participants in the new FR testing program will be allowed to purchase green-colored Make Life Safer Plus hangtags explaining that the furniture has been tested for the presence of the most common FR chemicals and that the furniture also meets UFAC’s flammability testing requirements.

Manufacturers and importers currently participating in UFAC’s long-running flammability testing program will continue to be able to purchase redesigned blue-colored hangtags signifying their participation. 

Manufacturers can learn which program is most appropriate for them to meet their consumers’ needs and enter the compliance portals at www.ufac.org/order.  

Consumers can find thoughtfully-drafted tips and instructive images about Family Fire Safety and FR Chemical Safety at www.ufac.org/family-fire-safety/ and www.ufac.org/fire-safety-plus-chemical-safety.



About UFAC
The Upholstered Furniture Action Council (UFAC), a not-for-profit industry organization founded in 1978, administers the Make Life Safer program using independent accredited test laboratories to certify that upholstered furniture is resistant to ignition from smoldering materials and, in the Plus program, has been tested for the presence of the most commonly used flame-retardant (FR) chemicals in furniture. Since the program’s inception, household fires from smoldering ignition have been reduced substantially. UFAC is proud of the part it has played in making life safer for American consumers.