New York and New Jersey Propose Furniture Flammability Bills

On March 1, 2011, N.J. Assemblyman John F. McKeon introduced legislation requiring the DCA (____) to promulgate fire safety regulations concerning upholstered furniture and furnishings for residential premises and public buildings. The bill would require that furniture and furnishings for both occupancies to meet California Bureau of Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation Technical Bulletins TB 116 and 117 for residential and TB 133 for public occupancies. These California fire performance standards were developed in 1975 for residential furniture and in 1990 for furniture for certain public occupancies. This bill states that the Jan. 19, 2000 Seton Hall fire in a lounge where three young men were killed was a driving force behind the legislation. The couches in the lounge were a major contributing factor to the three deaths. To view the bill click here.

In January 2010, Dennis Gabryszak of New York introduced similar legislation, A-9363, requiring the Fire Prevention and Control office of the state to develop fire performance standards to make upholstered furniture and mattresses fire resistant. Test methods, test equipment specifications, and pass fail criteria are to be developed and a report to the governor by January 2011. The regulations will become a nullity if and when the Federal Government passes a standard or law addressing these hazards. The rule also exempts applications where automatic sprinklers are present. To read the bill click here.