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New Jersey Assembly Considers Upholstered Furniture Flamability Regulations

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The MFA Metropolitan Furnishings Association reported that new fire safety regulations for upholstered residential and contract furnishings were being reviewed by the NJ Assembly Housing & Local Government Committee. The NJ Assembly Housing & Local Government Committee held a hearing on Thursday, May 10, 2007, 2:00pm, on A2299 which requires DCA to promulgate certain fire safety regulations concerning furniture and furnishings purchased for use in residential premises and public buildings. It requires the Commissioner of Community Affairs to promulgate regulations embodying the requirements of California Technical Bulletins 116 & 117 for residential occupancies. The Association cited the following problems with the regulations: 1. Considerable Expense. 2. CA revising, ineffectiveness and reliance on eco-toxic flame retardants. 3. No evidence that TB-117 improves fire safety. 4. The risk from upholstered furniture fires is relatively small and a declining one. The risk of death from an upholstered furniture fire is now less than one in a million. 5. Safety gains are the product of Americans smoking less, utilizing more smoke detectors and using child-resistant lighters. 6. The home furnishings industry would be better served by one standard, not a federal standard and individual state standards. A separate state regulation of the same risk is likely to create confusion for manufacturers, retailers and consumers. Complete Bill Text: http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2006/Bills/A2500/2299_1.HTM Primary Bill Sponsor: Assemblyman John F. McKeon (Democrat; Legislative District 27), Assistant Majority Leader District office address: 4 Sloan St., Suites D & E, South Orange, NJ 07079 Phone: 973-275-1113 More information can be obtained by contacting Al Granetz at Metropolitan Furnishings Association metrofa@onebox.com.

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