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Furnishings (Flammability)

Volume 174: debated on Tuesday 12 June 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assurance he has sought from the European Commission that legislation concerning the flammability of furniture and furnishings will meet the highest safety standards for British consumers.

My Department has had discussions with the Commission and the second draft of the directive already contains elements of the requirements of the United Kingdom furniture regulations, including resistance to ignition by cigarettes and matches.We will continue to press strongly for our requirement for ignition resistance of foam and other fillings, at forthcoming meetings with the Commission and parallel meetings to determine European test standards.We shall shortly be circulating consultation papers including copies of the second draft of the directive. Because the directive is to cover contract furniture as well as the domestic variety, this will be a combined exercise with the Home Office, which has the wider responsibility for fire prevention.