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Furniture throws and flammability regulations

Throws for upholstered furniture are subject to flammability and product safety regulations.

Are furniture throws subject to flammability regulations? This question arises from time to time. According to decisions made in the UK courts and according to the BEIS (was BERR/DTI), they are subject to the UK Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 when they are described, advertised or explicitly sold for use on upholstered furniture such as a chair or a sofa. When they are sold for use on a bed, they are not subject to the UK Furniture Regulations but they should still be ‘safe’ in accordance with General Product Safety Regulations.

If the throws are sold for use on upholstered furniture, they should be regarded as a loose cover and will therefore come under Schedule 5 Part I of the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988.

Do furniture throws comply?

SATRA purchased some throws that were displayed or advertised specifically for use on upholstered furniture. The results were worrying as table 1 shows.

Table 1: Results of flammability tests carried out by SATRA
Supplier code and source of upholstery throw Result of flammability test specified in Schedule 5
A Retail outlet Fail
B Retail outlet Fail
C Retail outlet Fail
D Internet Fail
E Internet Fail
F Retail outlet Fail

The results, of course, do not constitute an exhaustive survey but they do indicate the lack of conformance of this type of product. The point of sale material and the advertisements made no mention of the furniture regulations nor carried any warnings about the product being unsuitable for use on upholstery.

How can we help?


Please click here for information on SATRA's furniture testing services. If you are concerned about the fire safety aspects of your throws, SATRA would be pleased to carry out tests on your behalf – please email for assistance.