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The Smart Way to Find a Fire Sprinkler Contractor

Fire Safety: Mattress Law More Harm Than Good?


Many people consider laws that require fire sprinklers in all residential buildings think this sort of legislation is unnecessary. When they face stiff resistance, they're forced to enact other laws that seem good on paper, but don't consider the repercussions. For example, in this article from NewsReview.com (below) there is a federal law in place that focuses on the combustibility of the mattress. Each year, many people die from fires in bed that are generally caused by cigarettes and candles.

Instead of requiring that homes be fitted with sprinklers, the federal government has chosen to introduce a law that will require that the mattress industry make their products nearly inflammable. The problem is that the legislation will force many mattress manufacturers to introduce dangerous or even deadly chemicals in their product:

"Richard Lash has been preparing to meet the blowtorch test. When July 1 comes around, he'll be ready.

Lash is the co-owner of Square Deal Mattress Factory, Chico's vaunted micro-manufacturer of quality mattresses. For some time, he has known that a new federal law governing mattresses' combustibility will go into effect next month.

The law will require all mattresses to withstand an open flame from two blowtorches for two minutes without bursting into flame and to stay below a certain temperature for 30 minutes.

There have been mandatory fire regulations regarding cigarettes and mattresses for more than 30 years ... but blowtorches? Now, that's a tall order.

The good news is the law is expected to save about 270 lives a year. The bad news is it will force millions of Americans to sleep on beds that could be covered with toxic flame-retardant chemicals. That includes babies sleeping on crib mattresses.

Many larger mattress manufacturers are coating their materials with chemicals such as formaldehyde, boric acid, antimony and fiberglass in order to meet the new codes.

'I don't think any of them are particularly good for you,' said Dr. Gary Incaudo, a Chico allergist. 'I just worry about mattresses because it's right up against your face for a really long time.'"

You can read the rest of the article here. It's obvious that a complete fire sprinkler system would protect not only those sleeping on their beds at night but everyone in every other part of the house as well -- without harsh and nasty chemicals. It's like putting a Band-Aid on a very harsh and serious wound.

The law goes into effect on July 1st of 2007.

* photo - CPSC

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posted by ConstructionDeal.com, 9:23 AM


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