Furniture: Fire Resistant Materials

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 5th June 2019.

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Photo of The Countess of Mar The Countess of Mar Deputy Chairman of Committees, Deputy Speaker (Lords)

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Henley on 22 May (HL15636), which scientific evidence from external sources including academic papers and studies they are taking into account; what are the dates of meetings that have taken place to discuss the progress of the review; and whether they have met (1) Professor Richard Hull of the University of Central Lancashire, or (2) Bob Birtles of the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, in relation to the review.

Photo of The Countess of Mar The Countess of Mar Deputy Chairman of Committees, Deputy Speaker (Lords)

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Henley on 22 May (HL15639), what is the basis for their assertion that the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 ensure the “highest levels of fire safety”; and what assessment they have made of the findings of the (1) 2014 and 2016 consultations on reforming the law, and (2) Flame retardants in UK furniture increase smoke toxicity more than they reduce the fire growth rate, published in the Chemosphere in April 2018.

Photo of Lord Henley Lord Henley Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 are being reviewed to ensure they reflect changed fire safety risks, innovation, manufacturing processes and environmental and health concerns of chemical flame retardants whilst maintaining product safety protections.

The Department will publish its response to the 2016 consultation in due course. This will take into account of the responses received, the views of experts from across government including the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Public Health England, the Food Standards Agency and the Fire Services, as well as a range of evidence from external sources such as academic papers.

Ministers have not had meetings with Professor Richard Hull or Bob Birtles. Details of ministerial meetings with external bodies are published on the Gov.uk website.

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