Latest regulatory updates

Last updated 22nd July 2019Kurt Janson

Kurt Janson, Director of the Tourism Alliance, gives a monthly update on the latest regulatory changes affecting the hospitality industry. 

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in the Pink Book of Legislation, we regret that we cannot be responsible for any errors. Read our full disclaimer

New furniture and furnishings fire safety regulations on the way

The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations were introduced in 1988 to help ensure that furniture and furnishing manufactured and imported into the UK presented minimal fire safety risk to consumers.

Since their introduction, there have been significant developments in the way that furniture is manufactured. New products have entered the market and confusion has grown as to what products are included in the scope of the regulations. In addition, there has also been growing evidence linking some flame-retardant chemicals to serious long-term health impacts.

As we noted in the new edition of the Pink Book (printed April 2019), the Government has been undertaking a consultation aimed at resolving these issues and establishing a new regime for ensuring the safety of these products. This consultation has now concluded and the Government has just announced that it will be introducing new legislation that will:

  • revise fire safety tests
  • amend the scope of the regulations to clarify requirements on sleeping bags, mattress protectors, scatter cushions, seat pads, outdoor furniture and second hand furniture
  • enhance the powers of councils to pursue offenders.

While most of the new legislation will impact on the manufacturers of furniture and furnishings, these changes will also impact accommodation providers who use second hand furniture in their establishments.

Over the coming months, the Government will work with technical and scientific experts to develop essential safety requirements for a further consultation on the new legislative framework. The Government aims to introduce these regulations as legislation as soon as possible, so they can be expected to come into effect in early 2020.

One of the key issues identified in the consultation related to the fire safety standards associated with outdoor furniture, as it was considered that this furniture should be manufactured to the same standard as indoor furniture as people tended to use it inside in areas such as conservatories. Any change here could have significant impacts on operators, especially self-catering businesses, who have outside seating areas.

Read more information on the fire safety of furniture and furnishings.