Winter 2016

An ISO on European Furniture Standards was held in Italy on October 5-9, 2015 to discuss several standards that were out for comment.  UL attended the meeting and is providing an update of some of the most relevant topics.

During CW 41/2015 ISO TC 136 working groups discussed the current revision/new publication of the following ISO standards:

ISO/WD 19682 Furniture – Tables – Test methods for the determination of stability, strength and durability

ISO 7170- Storage Furniture determination of strength and durability, ISO 7171- Storage Furniture Stability

ISO  24496 – Office furniture — Office chairs — Methods for the determination of dimensions

ISO WD 7173 – Seating — Test methods for the determination of strength and durability

WD Furniture — Beds — Test methods for the determination of strength and durability

ISO has announced that their standards will only define the test methods, and any possible requirements will be left to countries to determine.  An informative annex suggests that the loads applied during each test and the number of cycles performed will be included in each standard.

It has been agreed that some BIFMA tests may be included in the ISO standard. BIFMA is preparing some proposals.

Most of the ISO documents will be released in April 2017.

New European Furniture Standards Published (link to post)


Spring 2015

European Standard for bunk beds and high beds introduce new requirements to avoid child entrapment

The Technical Committee for Furniture, TC 207, of CEN (the European Standardization Body) met on May 21st in London. During the meeting it was announced the imminent issue of an amendment to the standard for Bunk Beds and High Beds (EN 747, Part 1 and 2).  The aim of the amendment is to avoid suffocation risk entrapment of the neck as a child climbs up or down a bunk bed or high bed.  All upward facing openings that could potentially cause suffocation hazard will be checked with a special probe that simulates the child’s neck, shoulders and chin.

Additional warnings will also be required on bunk beds and high beds and are as follows:

a) WARNING “High beds and the upper bed of bunk beds are not suitable for children under six years due to the risk of injury from falls”;

b) WARNING “Bunk beds and high beds can present a serious risk of injury from strangulation if not used correctly. Never attach or hang items to any part of the bunk bed that are not designed to be used with the bed, for example, but not limited to ropes, strings, cords, hooks, belts and bags”

c) WARNING “Children can become trapped between the bed and the wall, a roof pitch, the ceiling, adjoining pieces of furniture (e.g. cupboards) and the like. To avoid risk of serious injury the distance between the top safety barrier and the adjoining structure shall not exceed 75 mm or shall be more than 230 mm”;

d) WARNING Do not use the bunk bed/high bed if any structural part is broken or missing;

e) always follow the manufacturer’s instructions;

f) the recommended size of the mattress(es);

g) a statement that ventilation of the room is necessary in order to keep the humidity low and to prevent mold in and around the bed;

h) all bunk beds and high beds intended to be assembled by other than the manufacturer or his/her representative shall include assembly instructions including a list of the parts supplied and details of any tools required to assemble the bed;

i) instructions regarding positioning and connection of the means of access;

j) the maximum thickness of the mattress (see 4.1.4) as well as information regarding the mattress maximum thickness marking;

k) a statement to check regularly that all assembly fastenings are properly tightened;

l) the number and year of this European Standard.


Winter 2015

  • The revision of the standard EN 15372 “Furniture – Strength, durability and safety – Requirements for non-domestic tables” will be published in Spring 2015.
  • The revision of EN 1729 “Furniture – Chairs and tables for educational institutions” is under final approval stage, and should be published within Summer 2015.
  • The revision of EN 527-2 “Office furniture – Work tables – Part 2: Strength, durability and safety requirements” is close to its completion and should be published in mid-2015.
  • The revision of EN 597 “Furniture – Assessment of the ignitability of mattresses and upholstered bed bases” “Part 1: Ignition source smoldering cigarette” and “Part 2: Ignition source: match flame equivalent” will be published mid-2015.
  • For outdoor furniture, the revision of EN 581-1 “Outdoor furniture – Seating and tables for camping, domestic and contract use – Part 1: General safety requirements” will likely be published next summer and the revisions of EN 581-2 “Outdoor furniture – Seating and tables for camping, domestic and contract use – Part 2: Safety, strength and durability requirements for seating” and EN 581-3 “Outdoor furniture – Seating and tables for camping, domestic and contract use – Part 3: Safety, strength and durability requirements for table” will follow shortly.
  • The new version of EN 14749 “Furniture – Domestic and kitchen storage units and kitchen-worktops – Safety requirements and test methods” is currently under the approvals process and will likely be published in Autumn 2015
  • During 2015 the revision of EN 1022 “Domestic furniture – Seating – Determination of stability” will be sent for public comments
  • The revision of the standard EN 1130 “Furniture. Cribs and Cradles for Domestic Use: Safety Requirements”, will cover bedside sleepers and will be released for public comment in mid-2015, but will not be published before 2016.
  • The standard for “Children’s and Nursery Furniture – Mattresses for Cots – Requirements and Test Methods” has been drafted and will be sent for public comment soon. It could be published by mid-2016. The suffocation requirement has been addressed by a test that evaluates if the mattress it so soft the child’s head may sink into it to such an extent that the respiration is impaired.
  • CEN is working also on a new standard for children’s chairs, which will be sent to for comment at the end of 2015.