Federal regulations have been established to protect consumers from being killed or severely burned by highly flammable clothing and household items. Tragically, hundreds of thousands of home fires continue to occur in the U.S. each year after items such as mattresses and bedding ignite. The victims, unfortunately, are often young children.
The Flammable Fabrics Act was passed in 1953 to regulate the manufacture of highly flammable clothing. The Act’s coverage was expanded in 1967 to include paper, plastic, foam and other materials used in clothing and interior furnishings. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is responsible for enforcing the Flammable Fabrics Act and issuing mandatory flammability standards.
The CPSC approved a federal standard to reduce the severity of mattress fires in July 2007. Under this mandatory federal rule, mattress sets must meet a performance standard. “Consumers who purchase a new mattress that meets this standard will add an important layer of fire safety protection to their home,” said CPSC Chairman Hal Stratton. “Lives will be saved as a result of this standard, as it requires new mattresses to limit the spread and intensity of a mattress fire, which will give people more time to escape from their residence.”
Despite these regulations, the number of annual bedding-related fires is staggering. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has estimated that between 2005 and 2009, an average of 10,260 home fires per year involved a mattress or bedding that ignited first. As a result of these fires, an annual average of 371 people died and 1,340 were injured..
Product defects that fail to meet government regulations can put families in serious danger in the event of a fire. When mattresses, mattress pads and/or bedding items do not meet federal flammability standards, they can quickly become consumed in flames and trap victims in a deadly fire. The outcomes are often devastating.
Contact our firm for assistance if you or a loved one was injured in a household fire. Unfortunately, nothing can change what happened, but our experienced attorneys can investigate your situation and determine if a defective product may be to blame.