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CPSC Tightens Burn Rule

Washington — The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has approved a federal mattress flammability standard to take effect July 1, 2007. In a 3-0 vote, the CPSC approved the testing protocol, which calls for a 30-minute burn test.

CPSC said it is “one of the most important safety standards ever developed” by the commission. The standard is designed to limit the spread and intensity of a mattress fire, giving consumers more time to escape from their homes.

When fully effective, CPSC estimates the new mandatory standard is likely to save as many as 270 lives a year, preventing 78% of the deaths occurring every year. It also is expected to prevent 1,330 injuries, or 84%.

Some suppliers of fire-resistant materials, and one mattress manufacturer — Serta — had expressed hope the standard would take effect even earlier, but the commissioners endorsed the July 1 date, which CPSC staff had suggested last month.

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