Domestic indoor, outdoor and camping
Upholstery and mattresses
Office and commercial (contract)
Furniture in the international scenario
Globalization makes it easy for consumers to pick and choose from the best products worldwide.
Small and large manufacturers and retailers are delivering products that shall fulfill their technical specifications and be safe to the user.
Furniture testing help to provide, not only proof of compliance with the mandatory safety requirements, but also an insight into the performance and durability of the product while being used.
The importance of safety and performance, along with the quality of the product
Even if the durability and performance assessment of furniture may not be mandatory in many countries, it provides manufacturers, retailers and customers a clear vision about the quality , safety and lifetime expectation of the assessed products.
Good reasons to partnership with Madison Safety
Beyond compliance testing we customize the service to help your products deliver according to your claims and benchmark:
Customized test protocols
Quality tests proposals
Whether for hard-goods in general or specifically for furniture products, ideally the following main points should be assessed by our experts:
General safety (Edges, shearing points, openings…)
Strength (Various loading tests / Heavy loads)
Durability (Fatigue test / Long cycles)
Stability (Tip over tests / Any directions)
Our Service Scope in the Furniture Industry
Physical-mechanical & performance testing
Main requirements to comply with
Besides the previous mentioned tests, other quality tests are also usually applied on furniture products, such as:
Corrosion tests for metal parts (outdoor use)
UV degradation tests for plastics (outdoor use)
Cross cut adhesion for coated surfaces
Moisture content of wooden products
Colour fastness for textile parts
VOC emission testing
Sample introduction in Stainless Steel Emission test chambers (Conditions: ISO 16000-9).
Emissions collected in sampling tubes (different types of sampling tubes according to specific target compounds).
Analysis through different techniques (GC-MS, LC-MS, HPLC-UV).
Determination of Emission Rates:
Volatile Organic Compounds: Solvents, plasticisers,...
Formaldehyde and other aldehydes,
Azo Dyes, Disperse Dyes, PAH, DMF, Formaldehyde, Flame retardants (PBB, PBDE, TDCPP, TCEP, TEPA, etc.).
Total Cadmium (Cd), Total lead (Pb), Nickel Release (Ni).
REACH Directive - SVHC testing
Lead Content in Coating and Substrate, Phthalate Testing, etc.
Different test methods for assessment of upholstered furniture and related textiles, covers, filling materials, etc.
As example, UK Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations set levels of fire resistance for domestic upholstered furniture, furnishings and other products containing upholstery.
Ignition requirements for filling materials
Cigarette resistance of upholstery composites
Match resistance of covers
EU General Product Safety Directive (GPSD)
There is no specific EU legislation for furniture, neither for a large number of hard-goods products.
The GSPD applies to all of them. It is intended to ensure a high level of product safety for consumer products that are not covered by specific sectors legislation (i.e. toys, chemicals, cosmetics, electrical).
Standards of voluntary nature have been developed by the CEN (“Comité Européen de Normalisation”, European Standardisation Committee) to assess the conformity of a wide range of products to the said directive (among which furniture, stationary sport equipment…), some of them listed as Harmonized standards under GPSD.
Some examples of these standards can be found in the following slide.
In the absence of other references, national and international standards are commonly also applied as a way to ensure product quality, performance and safety requirements in order to fulfil with GPSD principles and/or with national legislations.
BS 4875-7 and ISO 7170: Storage furniture
NF D60 300 (series): Furniture for young children
NF D61 062: Outdoor furniture adjustable deck chairs
GeneralEN 1728 – Furniture-Seating-Strenght and durability test methodsEN 1730 – Furniture-Tables-Stability, strenght and durability test methodsDomesticEN 12520 – Furniture-Strenght, durability and safety – Requirements for dosmetic seatingEN 12521-Furniture-Strenght, durability and safety-Requirements for dosmetic tablesEN 1022 – Dosmeticfurniture-Seating-Determination of stabilityOutdoor & ContractEN 581 – Outdoor furniture-Seating and tables for camping, domestic and contract use – Part 1 – General requirementsEN 581-2 – Part 2: Mechanical safety requirements and test methods for seatingEN 581-3 – Part 3: Mechanicalsafety requirements and test methods for tablesOfficeEN 1335 – Office furniture-Office work chairsEN 527 – Office furniture-work tables and desksEN 13761 – Office furniture-Visitors chairsEN 14074 – Office furniture-work tables and desks (and storage)Contract / Public furnitureEN 1729 – Furniture-Chairs and tables for educational institutionsEN 16139 – Furniture-Strenght, durability and safety-Requirements for non-domestic seatingEN 15372 – Furniture-Strenght, durability and safety-Requirements for non-dometsic tablesEN 15373 – Furniture-Strenght, durability and safety-Requirements for non-domestic seatingUK Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations
Set levels of fire resistance for domestic upholstered furniture, furnishings and other products containing upholstery.
Restricted substances under Annex XVII as applicable as well as SVHC (Substances of Very High Concern).
Textile Labeling Regulation (EU) 1007/2011
Covered by different regulations at EU level- REACH, Persistent Organic Pollutants Regulation, German ChemVerbots, etc.
Timber Regulation (EU) No 995/2010
Obligations of operators who place timber and timber products on the market - regulating trade in illegally harvested timber and timber products.
Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA): Protecting the public against unreasonable risks of injury associated with consumer products
16 CFR 1630 - Flammability of carpets, rugs
16 CFR 1632 - Flammability of mattresses
16 CFR 1634 - Flammability residential upholstered furniture (proposed rulemaking)
16 CFR 1303 - Lead in paint on certain furniture articles
16 CFR 1213 and 1513 - Bunk beds
16 CFR 1219-1220 - Baby Cribs
Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA)
Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) (Title VI limiting formaldehyde emissions for composite wood products)
Textile Fiber Products Identification Act
California Prop 65
California Air Resources Board (CARB): formaldehyde emissions from wood
California Technical Bulletin 117-2013 - Flammability Standard Requirements for Upholstered Furniture.
OEHHA - Toxic chemicals.
Illinois Lead poisoning prevention Act
Washington Children´s Safe Products Act - Lead, Cadmium and Phthalates in children´s furniture.
Flame Retardant Regulations - Several States regulating Flame retardants in foam and upholstered furniture.
US Voluntary Standards - ASTM (Some examples):
ASTM F404 - High chairs.
ASTM F2057 - Chests, door chests, dressers.
ASTM 1561 - Plastic chairs for outdoor use.
There are many industry standards which are widely followed and accepted within the market as a good reference for granting safety level and performance of furniture products:
UK´s largest furniture association issuing own standards and guidelines. Examples:
FIRA C001: Cabinets (children´s domestic furniture)
FIRA 5000: Domestic bathroom
US Furniture Manufacturer´s association that develops safety and performance standards and guidelines. Examples:
ANSI/BIFMA X5.1: Office seating
ANSI/BIFMA X5.3: Vertical files
ANSI/BIFMA X5.4: Lounge and public seating
OEKO-TEX Standard 100
International Association for Research and Testing of Textiles applicable for textile products, accessories, mattresses, foams, upholstery. Harmful substances focused document.
There are regulations, standards and many different voluntary schemes worldwide regulating VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) emissions, which may apply to furniture products. Some examples:
ISO 16000 series: Indoor Air quality.
EN 717 series: Formaldehyde emissions wood-based panels.
California CDPH Section 01350: Indoor air VOC emissions. Compliance with CDPH Standard also fulfils indoor air emissions criteria of CHPS (Collaborative for High Performance Schools).
LEED Indoor Environmental Quality criteria.
BIFMA Label: Standards for VOC emission rating and certification for furniture and seating.