Cat. No.: H46-2/05-396
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The intent of this document is to:
Consumer Product Safety (CPS) of Health Canada's Product Safety Programme (PSP) works closely with partners and stakeholders to protect consumers and children from product-related hazards and to promote the safe use of products. CPS gets its regulatory authority from the Hazardous Products Act (HPA), which covers the advertising, sale, and importation of a variety of hazardous or potentially hazardous products. The onus is on industry to comply with the legislation. Enforcement actions taken by Product Safety Officers on noncompliant products range from negotiation with industry for the voluntary removal of these products from the market to seizure and/or prosecution under the HPA. Any person or company that advertises, sells or imports noncompliant products that result in property damage, injury or death may also face civil penalties.
Mattresses are defined in Item 32 of Part II of Schedule I to the HPA as products intended, promoted or normally used for the purpose of being slept on that contain resilient material enclosed within a ticking, whether or not those products are commonly referred to as mattresses, other than
Futon mattresses fall under the jurisdiction of the HPA and must meet the minimum flammability requirements set out in the Hazardous Products (Mattresses) Regulations prior to being advertised, sold, or imported into Canada:
Futon mattresses advertised, sold or imported into Canada must also meet federal labelling requirements set out in the Textile Labelling Act and the Textile Labelling and Advertising Regulations administered and enforced by Industry Canada, as well as any applicable provincial requirements for labelling.
For more information on legislative requirements for futon mattresses, refer to Appendix C - Canadian Information Resources, on page 25 of this document.
In accordance with CGSB CAN 2-4.2, Method 27.7-M77:
Combustion Resistance of Mattresses - Cigarette Test, 10 specimens, each measuring 300 mm (height) x 300 mm (width) x 50 mm (depth), are cut from the surface of the product sample. Each specimen is mounted in an uncovered flame-resistant box measuring approximately 300 mm (height) x 300 mm (width) x 300 mm (depth) at a tension which is approximately that of the product sample at the point of sale. A lit cigarette is placed in a central position on the specimen, along the length of a crevice, tufting indentation or seam where possible. The test ends when charring or melting of the surface exceeds a distance of 50 mm in any horizontal direction from the lit cigarette, or 10 minutes after the cigarette has extinguished. The specimen fails if charring or melting of the surface extends beyond 50 mm in any horizontal direction from the lit cigarette, or if there is any continuing combustion anywhere in the specimen 10 minutes after the cigarette has extinguished.
A product sample complies with the flammability requirements if 0-1 specimens fail the test.
A product sample does not comply with the flammability requirements if 2-10 specimens fail the test.
For detailed information on this test, refer to the "Test Method for Evaluating Mattresses for Combustion Resistance by the Cigarette Smouldering Test - Method F-06" listed in Appendix C - Canadian Information Resources, on page 25 of this document
The first futon mattresses to emerge in the Canadian market in the late 1960s and early 1970s were the traditional simple Japanese mattresses consisting of 100% cotton batting enclosed by a 100% cotton ticking, valued for their simplicity, hypoaller-genic and therapeutic properties.
No futon is fireproof, but there are ways to make them resistant to a smouldering cigarette. Futons can also be made to resist intense burning after being exposed to an open flame.
Treatment with Fire Retardants
Fabrics can be made more smoulder-resistant by applying a fire retardant in the resin backcoating applied to the finished fabric, or other topical means. Cotton battings, the traditional filling of choice in futons, are quite smoulder-resistant and flame-resistant if an adequate level of boric acid (minimum 10-12% by weight) is distributed evenly throughout the batt. Or look for cotton batting that is certified by the U.S. National Cotton Batting Institute (NCBI) to be smoulder-resistant and flame-resistant.
Use of Smoulder-Resistant Fabrics and Filling Materials
Synthetic fabrics, fibre battings and threads, as well as polyurethane foams are generally smoulder-resistant. However, they will melt and burn easily with an open flame unless a flame-retardant is added. A variety of flame-resistant filling materials are also available, such as cellular foams (e.g., melamine-loaded polyurethane, combustion modified high resiliency, neoprene, etc.) and new fibre battings specifically formulated to resist flaming and melting.
Use of Barrier Materials
A variety of barrier materials, used below the outer fabric, offer varying levels of protection from open-flame ignition sources without sacrificing aesthetic and physical qualities, such as:
Certain combinations of these may also work to reduce costs and increase flame resistance.
It has been noted that a cotton or cotton/polyester blend fabric over a flame-resistant barrier or interliner is not very likely to lead to a major flashover situation.
The choice and thickness of barrier should take into consideration information such as the size and design of the futon mattress (innerspring [Figure 1], foam core [Figure 2], cotton batting core [Figure 3], pillowtop, etc.), the type and level of flame resistance of the outer fabric, and the amount and order of layering of the filling materials.
Even if the best fire barrier material is used, fire can penetrate the barrier at seams made with non-flame retardant threads or fasteners. Use of flame-retardant tufting threads is also important in preventing flame penetration.
Thicker and heavier futon mattresses often have more stitching and tufting to maintain their shape and appearance. Stitching and tufting can dislocate or disturb the underlying material, and can push deeper layers closer to the surface. If these deeper layers are not smoulder-resistant, they will likely contribute to the product failing to meet the flammability requirements.
Consideration should also be given to the integrity of the crevice of a futon mattress formed when it is placed in the seat/ back configuration. Research has shown that crevice areas of furniture are one of the most probable areas where a sustained fire may occur, especially a smouldering fire caused by a lit cigarette, which may easily roll into a crevice and go unnoticed.
Compliance should always be confirmed by testing.
For further information, refer to the Futon Association International, the Sleep Products Safety Council, and the National Cotton Batting Institute listed in Appendix D - United States Information Resources, on page 26 of this document.
The Sleep Products Safety Council (SPSC) is a non-profit service organization established by the International Sleep Products Association (ISPA). The SPSC's mission is to provide consumer safety information, support research and promote activities aimed at reducing hazards associated with mattresses and other sleep products. The SPSC, together with Health Canada and Fire Prevention Canada, have developed fire-safety messages for mattress consumers in Canada. These messages are available on SPSC mattress hangtags (see Appendix E on page 27 of this document).
If you are not currently using the SPSC hangtag on your futons, you are encouraged to do so. Use of the hangtag will provide consumers with important safety information, and will identify your company as a safety-conscious futon producer concerned about improving fire safety and reducing residential fires. To purchase SPSC hangtags, or to find out about other SPSC activities and resources for the sleep products industry, refer to the Sleep Products Safety Council listed in Appendix D - United States Information Resources, on page 26 of this document.
Futon mattresses manufactured in Canada and shipped to the United States are subject to the federal mattress flammability standard for resistance to ignition by a lit cigarette issued and enforced by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). At the time of this publication, the CPSC was also in the process of developing a new federal standard to address the resistance of mattresses to ignition by an open flame. Futon mattresses shipped specifically to California must also meet the requirements of Technical Bulletin 603 for resistance to ignition by an open flame issued and enforced by the California Bureau of Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation (BHFTI). For more information, refer to Appendix D - United States Information Resources, on page 26 of this document.
Although the current federal test criteria are similar in Canada and the United States, the test method mandated in the United States is more complex. The United States standards also specify requirements for labelling and record keeping.
Canadian companies exporting to the United States are advised to ensure compliance with the United States standards and have their goods tested prior to export.
For a partial list of laboratories which provide mattress testing services, refer to Appendix B - Canadian Mattress Testing Laboratories, on page 23 of this document.
The roles and responsibilities of government and industry in ensuring the safety of futon mattresses include, but are not limited to, the following:
Suite 210, 3625 Lougheed Highway
Vancouver, British Columbia
Tel: (604) 666-5003
Fax: (604) 666-5988
#1440 Sun Life Building
c/o Suite 730, Canada Place
9700 Jasper Avenue
Tel: (780) 495-2626
Fax: (780) 495-2624
Room 282, Harry Hays Building
220-4thAvenue South East
Tel: (403) 292-4677
Fax: (403) 292-4644
510 Lagimodiere Boulevard
Tel: (204) 983-5490
Fax: (204) 984-0461
Room 412, Federal Building
101-22nd Street East
Tel: (306) 975-4502
Fax: (306) 975-6040
2301 Midland Avenue
Tel: (416) 973-4705
Fax: (416) 973-1746
55 Bay Street North
Tel: (905) 572-2845
Fax: (905) 572-4581
1001 St-Laurent Street West
Tel: (450) 646-1353
Fax: (450) 928-4066
901 Cap Diamant, Local 266-1
Tel: (418) 648-4327
Fax: (418) 649-6536
Suite 1625, 1505 Barrington Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Tel: (902) 426-8300
Fax: (902) 426-6676
10 Highfield Street
Moncton, New Brunswick
Tel: (506) 851-6638
Fax: (506) 851-3197
10 Barters Hill
John Cabot Building, 3rd Floor
St. John's, Newfoundland
Tel: (709) 772-4050
Fax: (709) 772-5945
Consumer Product Safety Bureau
MacDonald Building, 4th Floor
123 Slater Street
Tel: (613) 954-0104
Fax: (613) 952-1994
NOTICE: This listing of laboratories implies no certification or endorsement by Health Canada, nor is it necessarily a complete listing of all laboratories in Canada that provide mattress testing services.
Textile Analysis Service
Department of Human Ecology
B33 Human Ecology Building
University of Alberta
Tel: (780) 492-3832
Fax: (780) 492-4111
University of Manitoba
Textile Testing Service
Department of Clothing & Textiles
H501 Duff Roblin Building
190 Dysart Road
Tel: (204) 474-8509
Fax: (204) 474-7593
Bodycote Technology Centre
2395 Speakman Drive
SGS Canada Inc.
6275 Northam Drive, Unit 2
Tel: (905) 676-9595
Fax: (905) 676-9362
For other locations in Canada, visit www.na.bodycote-mt.com
Bodycote Materials Testing Canada Inc.
121 Hymus Boulevard
Tel: (514) 697-3273
Fax: (514) 697-2090
Product Safety Laboratory
1800 Walkley Road
Tel: (613) 952-0853
Fax: (613) 954-8515
NOTICE: For further information on futon mattresses, contact a Health Canada Product Safety Office (refer to Appendix A - List of Health Canada Product Safety Offices, on page 20 of this document) or visit the following: