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CBP Seizes 200 Flammable Mattresses

Release Date: 
October 11, 2012

Los Angeles - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers and import specialists, in collaboration with U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) investigators, seized 200 cotton mattresses at Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport complex for violating the Flammable Fabrics Act.

The mattresses, coming from China, were burn-tested in a CPSC scientific laboratory setting and failed to meet the federal safety standard for open-flame fire resistance before sale or introduction in to the U.S. commerce.

The mattress rule is a life-saving benefit. It provides better protection, with a federal flammability standard that limits the spread and intensity in a mattress fire. This gives consumers valuable time of approximately 30 minutes to escape if there is a fire.

Seized mattresses.

CBP in Los Angeles seized 200 mattresses for violating the Flammable Fabrics Act.

Mattresses in compliance lessen the possibility for a flashover to happen.

"CBP enforces more than 400 laws and regulations of 40 different agencies. This is one example of protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury, death or property damage from products that pose a fire hazard and are regulated by the CPSC," commented Todd C. Owen, CBP director of field operations in Los Angeles.

Increased fire resistance does not mean there is no fire risk. Instead, a noncompliant mattress is in flames within minutes compared to one with the federal open-flame standard.

The affixed labels also failed to meet the standards. They did not include the manufacturer's address, date (month and year) of manufacture, or prototype identification number. They misled that the mattresses met the federal flammability open-flame standard.

Mattress burn-test.

Mattress burn-testing in CPSC scientific laboratory.

Mattresses which were manufactured on or after July 1, 2007, must meet the federal flammability requirement of 16 CFR 1633 and have an attached label that states this compliance, along with identifying manufacturer and importer information.

The rule's purpose is to reduce deaths and injuries associated with mattress fires by limiting the size of the fire, particularly those initially ignited by open flame sources such as lighters, candles and matches.

The flammability standard directed toward cigarette ignition of mattresses, 16 CFR 1632, in place for more than 30 years, does not directly address a significant number of mattress fires which are ignited by open flame sources.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017