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Volume 124: debated on Tuesday 8 December 1987

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he has any plans to amend the standard required for National Health Service contract upholstery from BS5852 Part 2 crib 5 to crib 7; and if he will make a statement.

No. It has been common practice to allow the use of flammable foam upholstery core materials protected by means of fire-retardant covering fabrics. However, fire-retardant core materials have recently been introduced and we propose to specify these for use in National Health Service premises. By removing the potential hazard of the high flammability core, the desirability of seeking covering materials with higher ignition resistance is much reduced. To raise the acceptability standard of the cover material unnecessarily would reduce choice of fabrics and invite higher costs.Present National Health Service flammability requirements are considerably more stringent than those set by the Upholstered Furniture (Safety) Regulations.