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Underwriters' Laboratories of Canada (ULC), in cooperation with government, industry, fire safety officials, testing laboratories, consumer representatives and other interested and affected parties, is developing CAN/ULC-S137, tentatively titled Standard Method of Test for Fire Growth of Mattresses (Open Flame Test). Publication is expected in the spring of 2007 at the earliest. Compliance will be voluntary.
CAN/ULC-S137 will test the ability of a mattress to resist rapid heat release when subjected to a open flame ignition source. In the event of a mattress fire, mattresses complying to CAN/ULC-S137 will generate a smaller fire with a slower growth rate, thus enhancing mattress fire safety for Canadians.
CAN/ULC-S137 will harmonize with 16 CFR Part 1633, Standard for the Flammability (Open Flame) of Mattress Sets, a mandatory standard developed and administered by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) for mattresses manufactured, renovated or imported into the United States on or after July 1, 2007. 16 CFR Part 1633 prescribes testing procedures similar to those in TB 603, Requirements and Testing Procedure for Resistance of a Mattress/Box Spring Set to a Large Open-Flame, issued by California's Bureau of Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation (BHFTI), however the compliance criteria in 16 CFR Part 1633 are more stringent.
Several Canadian trade members are already complying to either 16 CFR Part 1633 or TB 603.
Mattresses fall under the jurisdiction of the Hazardous Products Act and must resist cigarette ignition in accordance with the Hazardous Products (Mattresses) Regulations before being advertised, sold or imported into Canada.
Health Canada is taking no action at present to regulate mattresses with respect to open flame ignition. When CAN/ULC-S137 is finalized, Health Canada and its stakeholders will evaluate whether the standard should be incorporated by reference into the existing Hazardous Products (Mattresses) Regulations. If regulation is recommended, an effective date may be expected no earlier than the spring of 2009.
Health Canada encourages all trade members to begin preparing now for the likelihood of mandatory Canadian regulations addressing open flame ignition of mattresses by incorporating any necessary changes into their existing procedures and by having their products tested for compliance.
Trade members who are exporting to the United States are advised to ensure compliance with 16 CFR Parts 1632 and 1633 and to have their products tested prior to export. Also take note of the CPSC's recent Interim Enforcement Policy for Mattresses Subject to 16 CFR Parts 1632 and 1633.
Information on how to comply is available in the Supplementary Information section to CFR Part 1633, and from the International Sleep Products Association (ISPA).
A list of accredited mattress testing laboratories in Canada may be obtained by contacting the Standards Council of Canada (SCC).
If you have any questions, or to be placed on Health Canada's stakeholder list for mattresses, contact Mary Korpan, Project Officer, Consumer Product Safety Bureau, Health Canada, at (613) 952-6629 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.