Landlord compliance

Fire Safety Regulations 1988


This affects how you might furnish your rental property.

The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations 1988 (amended 1989 and 1993) are UK law and are designed to ensure that upholstery components and composites used for furniture supplied in the UK meet specified ignition resistance levels and are suitably labelled. There are six main elements contained within the Regulations:

  • Filling materials must meet specified ignition requirements
  • Upholstery composites must be cigarette resistant
  • Covers must be match resistant (with certain exceptions as outlined in Section 8.2 and Appendix A5)
  • A permanent label must be fitted to every item of new furniture (with the exception of mattresses and bed-bases)
  • A display label must be fitted to every item of new furniture at the point of sale (with the exception of mattresses, bed-bases, pillows, scatter cushions, seat pads, loose covers sold separately from the furniture and stretch covers)

This embraces furniture included in accommodation let in the course of business, such as holiday homes and residential furnished letting's (including houses, flats and bed-sits). As such, the Regulations apply to landlords, estate agents and letting agents who let such accommodation. The first supplier of domestic upholstered furniture in the UK is the person responsible for ensuring that the Regulations are met. In this context, the definition of the first supplier in the UK with respect to manufacturers, importers and retailers is important.

All types of upholstered seating including chairs, settees, padded stools and ottomans. Children's furniture, foot stools, sofa-beds, futons and other convertibles, bean bags and floor cushions, nursery furniture and upholstered items designed to contain a baby or small child. Domestic upholstered furniture that is supplied in kit form for self-assembly. Second hand furniture, upholstered head-boards, footboards and side rails of beds.

Furniture for use in the open air (garden and outdoor furniture) which is suitable for use in a dwelling (homes and caravans), upholstery in caravans (although not vehicles or boats). Cane furniture which includes upholstery.

Divans, bed-bases, mattresses, pillows, and mattress pads (toppers) (FILLING MATERIAL ONLY)

Scatter cushions and seat pads (FILLING MATERIAL ONLY)

Permanent covers for furniture (textiles, coated textiles, leather etc) Loose and stretch covers for furniture. Covers for non-visible parts of furniture

Foam and non-foam filling material for furniture

All furniture and products in the above groups need to comply with the Regulations. The specific information and exceptions to each group are discussed separately in the FIRA guide.

Display labelling is required to indicate the ignition resistance of each item of furniture and needs to be
attached to all new furniture at the point of sale, with the exception of mattresses, bed-bases, pillows, scatter cushions, seat pads, loose covers (sold separately from the furniture) and stretch covers.
Furniture sold as a collection of items, such as three piece suites or a set of dining chairs must carry the
appropriate display label on each individual item. In all cases the display label must be attached to the
furniture in a prominent position so that the label will be clearly visible to a potential purchaser of the furniture and the wording on both sides can be read with reasonable ease.