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Your mattress is safe? CPSC says, check again

Jul '07
Is your mattress safe? According the Consumer Product Safety Commission, whose new flame resistance standards for mattresses go into effect, it isn't as safe as it could be.

But for the many consumers who won't rush out to replace all the mattresses in their homes, there are less costly alternatives for consumers to protect themselves from the devastating effects of a mattress fire.

"The new law is great and if you are ready to purchase a new mattress, then you should," said Don Hofmann, a leading consultant in both the mattress and top-of-bed industries with expertise in the new flame resistant regulations.

Those who aren't ready can help protect themselves at minimal cost with simple home fire safety tips, he said. Or, they can take advantage of products such as Louisville Bedding Company's FireDefender Sleep

System, a two- piece, flame resistant mattress and box spring cover that mimics the protection of the new CPSC standards. Quick tips on fire and mattress safety and more information on the FireDefender product.

However they choose to do it, consumers should take some action to protect themselves against the devastating effects of mattress fires, Hofmann said.

Bedrooms are the second-most common place where home fires begin, with more than 20,800 fires starting each year in mattresses and bedding.

Mattress fires cause approximately 380 deaths, 4,000 injuries and more than $295 million in property damage each year. The new standards are aimed at limiting the spread and intensity of a fire that starts in the bedroom, delaying mattress flashover (when the entire contents of a room ignite spontaneously) for up to 30 minutes. That extra time can be critical in giving families more time to escape a burning home.

"In any home fire where the mattress becomes involved, the injury and fatality rate, as well as personal property loss, is more than doubled," Hofmann said.

"The CPSC estimates the new standards will reduce fire related injuries by 84 percent, fatalities by 78 percent and save several hundred million dollars in annual property damage."

Louisville Bedding Company

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