Bureau of Home Furnishings & Thermal Insulation

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The Bureau of Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation (BHFTI), a government body under the California Department of Consumer Affairs, enforces the Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation Act, which protects consumers of upholstered furniture, bedding, and thermal insulation.The Bureau's mission is to protect and serve consumers while ensuring a competent and fair marketplace.

A fundamental requirement of the Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation Act is the licensing and inspection of businesses that manufacture and sell upholstered furniture, bedding and thermal insulation. The Bureau also enforces other regulations required by the Act, such as health and safety standards, product labeling requirements and truth in advertising laws. The Bureau enforces safety standards by testing products at its laboratory in Sacramento, California.

Following are some key areas of consumer protection provided by the Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation Act:

Bedding Flammability

The Bureau enforces the current federal flammability law for consumer bedding that requires mattresses, futons and mattress pads to resist igniting when exposed to smoldering cigarettes. Starting July 1, 2007, BHFTI begins to enforce the new federal flammability standard, 16 CFR Part 1633, for mattresses, box springs and futons. The federal standard replaces California's former flammability standard, TB 603, and requires mattresses, box springs and futons to resist ignition from open-flame sources, such as matches, lighters and candles. For more information on 16 CFR Part 1633, visit our Federal Mattress Standard page.

The Bureau is also planning to address the open-flame hazard of bed clothing, "top of the bed" products such as pillows, comforters, bedspreads and mattress pads.

Upholstered Furniture Flammability

BHFTI enforces Technical Bulletin 117, which requires upholstered furniture sold to California consumers to be flame resistant. Upholstered furniture that meets the standard is less likely to ignite rapidly, and, if ignited, less likely to burn quickly or sustain burning.

Public Occupancy Furnishings Flammability

The Bureau enforces a more stringent mandatory flammability standard for upholstered furniture used in public occupancies such as hospitals, hotels, prisons, theaters and dormitories. The standard provides an additional measure of safety in crowded spaces. The Bureau developed an open-flame standard for mattresses used in public occupancies that has been widely adopted by fire code authorities and public agencies, both in California and nationally.

Requirements for Rebuilt and Used Mattress

California law protects consumers from potential health hazards associated with the sale of rebuilt and used mattresses. All bedding products that are rebuilt or sold "used" must be properly sanitized to minimize contamination. They must also be labeled "secondhand" to avoid misleading consumers that the products are new. For more information, see the fact sheet titled "What You Should Know Before You Buy a Rebuilt Mattress," available in the "Forms and Publications" section of this Web site.

Thermal Insulation

The Bureau certifies thermal insulation performance and conducts periodic compliance testing of samples. We also publish an annual thermal insulation directory, which identifies products that have been tested and certified to meet California insulation quality standards. To view the current directory or for further information, visit our Thermal Insulation page.