WASHINGTON - The adoption of a federal upholstered furniture flammability standard is one step closer following passage by the U.S. House of Representatives of HR 2647, the Safer Occupancy Furniture Flammability Act (SOFFA).

If approved and signed into law, it would make California’s Technical Bulletin (TB) 117-2013 the national flammability standard for upholstered residential furniture.

The legislation has received support from industry groups including the American Home Furnishings Alliance. “This issue has bipartisan and broad stakeholder support. We expect SOFFA to provide a legislative victory for all parties and, most importantly, a win for American consumers,” AHFA CEO Andy Counts has stated.

“Setting a federal standard for furniture flammability will provide clearer direction to the furniture industry and will lead to safer products in our homes," said Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-VA), who along with Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA) had introduced the bill in the House.

The bill passed in the House on Dec. 16. The Senate has yet to vote on its version of the legislation, S 1341, co-sponsored by Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).

TB 117-2013 outlines performance standards and methods for testing the smolder resistance of cover fabrics, barrier materials, filling materials and decking materials used in upholstered furniture. It was endorsed by a broad coalition of stakeholders, including AHFA, firefighters, fire scientists, environmentalists and consumer groups.

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