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CPSC to Rule on New Mattress Open-Flame Standard

Americans will sleep more soundly as a result

(Alexandria, VA.)  February, 3, 2005 — The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) staff recently issued its proposed final draft of the much-anticipated mattress open-flame standard.  This draft standard now goes before the CPSC Commissioners for final approval by mid-February.  If approved, as anticipated, the standard will set national mandatory fire performance criteria for all mattresses sold in the United States that are manufactured after July 1, 2007.  

"Today's action represents a major milestone for both the mattress industry and consumers," notes Dick Doyle, President of the International Sleep Products Association (ISPA).  "Mattress manufacturers and suppliers have worked hard with CPSC and the fire safety community to create a national standard for new mattresses that will enhance product safety and meet consumers' expectations for comfort and support.  Americans will sleep more soundly as a result of the CPSC's actions and the industry's continuing efforts to provide quality mattresses."

The ISPA, along with the Sleep Products Safety Council (SPSC), has supported CPSC's efforts to establish a national open-flame standard that is science-based, effective and practical.  The draft standard calls for new construction and testing methods that will make mattresses more resistant to open flame ignitions from matches, lighters and candles.  Mattresses built to these new specifications will allow for substantially more time for consumers to escape from a mattress fire and summon help.
Key areas addressed by the draft standard include: stringent manufacturing and testing requirements; document retention; and consistent application of the new requirements to all imported and renovated mattresses.  The new federal standard will also preempt states from setting different mattress flammability rules.  ISPA will continue to work with the CPSC to assure a fair and consistent level of enforcement of the new standards as they become effective.

The Commission's approval of the final standard will culminate years of collaboration between the mattress industry, fire safety experts and regulators.  The new federal standard is largely based on a standard adopted in California early last year, which is based on scientific research and is expected to substantially reduce the number of deaths and injuries resulting from mattress fires. 

"CPSC has done an excellent job in advancing a science-based standard that is both effective and practical," added Pat Martin, SPSC .  "The SPSC is proud of the contributions it has made to the formation of this new national standard.  We will continue to work with the CPSC in helping to provide mattress manufacturers and their suppliers with the tools and instruction needed to comply with these standards.  We will also continue our long-standing efforts to help educate the public on the importance of taking the proper precautions to enhance home fire safety."

In the mean time, ISPA noted that it will continue its efforts to work with the CPSC on eliminating the overlap between the new open-flame standard and CPSC's long standing mattress cigarette ignition standard.  "There is considerable duplication between the testing and paperwork requirements of these two standards which we believe can be streamlined while maintaining a high level of safety for Americans," Doyle stated.

The Sleep Products Safety Council, is a non-profit organization established in 1986 by the mattress industry. SPSC's mission is to provide consumer safety information, support scientific research, and promote activities aimed at reducing hazards associated with mattresses and other sleep products.

Established in 1915, the International Sleep Products Association, is the trade organization for mattress manufacturers and their component suppliers around the world. ISPA hosts the biennial ISPA EXPO trade show and publishes BedTimes and Sleep Savvy magazines.

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