8 December 2020

Everything You Need to Know about Fire Labels

Read Time: 4 mins

What Are Fire Labels?

In a sentence: fire labels are small labels that are attached to items like upholstered furniture to ensure they have met fire safety checks. These labels aren’t just a mark of quality but are in fact a legal requirement.

fire label

This will put a stop to your plans of selling an item if it is missing its fire label. We’ve got a number of options for collecting items that are missing their fire labels like our Skip Bags and collection services. We’d avoid using skips in this case as many items that require fire labels like mattresses, cannot be placed in a skip. A Skip Bag will be perfect as our small Skip Bag has a capacity of 1 cubic yard, which is enough room to fit an armchair. At the time this blog was written, a small Skip Bag and a collection cost £124.99. If there is still room in the Skip Bag you could add more items that you don’t need to get even more value out of it. If you’ve got more than one armchair, or something that won’t fit into a small Skip Bag, our ‘Man and Van’ collection will the best solution. A flexible load pick-up will cost £144.98 and all your waste can be lifted by our professional waste operatives.

carrying a sofa

The History of Fire Labels

The Furniture and Furnishings Fire Safety Regulation 1988 established a set of rules and standards that manufacturers must adhere to even today. In the latter half of the 20th century, more modern methods of creating furniture had been developed and quickly became commonplace. These new methods and materials made furniture cheaper to produce but more dangerous. Foam in cushions were the culprits for many fires caused and eventually something had to be done as fatalities began to increase. A document by the Furniture Industry Research Association details some of the tests which include the cigarette test and match test. Items today are much safer as the tests ensure that they have an adequate level of flame retardancy.


What Items Require Fire Labels?

Furniture Fire Labels

The most common items which will require a fire label tend to be ‘upholstered’ furniture. An upholstered chair is one that has cushioning. This distinction is important as the cushioning in the upholstery is what tends to be the most flammable item. This is why a simple dining room chair or coffee table may not require a fire label. Although a simple wooden chair may still be flammable, the foam in a cushion on an armchair can ignite a lot more easily.

Do Mattresses Need Fire Labels?

You may be led into thinking that mattresses don’t require labels, as most mentions of mattresses in the 1988 regulations state that they are exempt. This is because there is a separate set of regulations to tackle mattresses, although it functions much in the same way. BS7177 requires mattresses to be fixed with a label which certifies that it has passed fire safety checks. These regulations also apply to bed bases.

Where to Find Fire Labels?

It is up to the manufacture’s discretion as to where the fire label is placed. Some ill-thought-out placements have led customers to see the labels as unsightly and wrongly cut them off. As a result, the fire labels can now be well hidden so it can be difficult to find a label on a large item like a sofa. Be sure to check underneath the sofa and under the cushions. As a last resort, you can make enquiries with the item’s manufacturer or the vendor that sold it to you.

Here are some examples of fire labels:

fire labels

How to Get Rid of Furniture Without a Fire Label?

Can I Sell Furniture Without a Fire Label?

The rules around selling secondhand furniture are a little muddy. There are little to no examples of people being prosecuted due to them selling furniture without a fire label. Even with this in mind, the regulations of 1988 clearly state that the laws extend to secondhand items. As such we strongly advise that you do not donate or sell an item that is missing a fire label if it should have one.

How to Dispose of Furniture Without Fire Labels?

You may be able to take your items to the tip, but each waste facility has its own rules so it’s best to check as they may not be able to accept your items.

Clearabee Collections

Understandably, this may leave you with an item which is awkward to get rid of. At Clearabee, we are able to offer same-day rubbish collections to help you get rid of your unwanted items quickly. What’s more, is that we are able to recycle 95% of the waste we collect so items like sofas and mattresses can avoid going to landfill.

We offer a number of options like Skips and Skip Bags, but we suggest using our ‘Man and Van’ rubbish removal. This is perfect for items that typically require fire labels and they tend to be bulky, difficult to handle and dispose of. A Clearabee ‘Man and Van’ removal includes the reasonable labour of two of our professional waste operatives. We’ll be able to lift items and load our van you can relax without having to lift a finger.

waste services graphics
Back to all articles

Related articles

Need help or got a question?

Start a live chat with a member of our helpful team