Tuesday, August 10, 2004
Carmel on the Case: Burning Beds
When it comes to a good night's sleep, costumers may finally get the same protection as criminals. Even though most prisons require flame resistant mattresses, they're not sold in stores. That is until now. Some lawmakers are setting new guidelines. Carmel cafiero is on the case.
(WSVN) -- Many of us go to bed every night unaware that the mattress designed to give us a comfortable rest is also a serious fire hazard.
Dion and Tammy Boucher learned the hard way.
A faulty electrical cord ignited a mattress that nearly wiped out their home and family.
Tammy Boucher: "I would have lost all three of my sons, cause it was full bottom, twin top bunk bed set. All three of my sons would have been in it."
Current federal standards require mattresses to resist smoldering cigarettes, but not open flames.
We first brought you this story in February of 2001.
With the help of Broward County Fire Rescue, we tested a mattress with a small flame from a candle.
"You could see right now you have a fairly, good involvement of a corner section of the mattress," said a Broward County Fire Rescue while burning a mattress.
In less than four minutes, this entire mattress was burning. And that's why the consumer product safety commission is drafting new flammability standards for mattress manufacturers.
California Burea of Home Furnishings Lynn Morris:"If the mattress industry can make a better product, a safer product that will save lives, it's not going to cost much more and not going to be less comfortable then why not have protection."
Serta is the first with the fire-resistant mattresses.
Testing with an independent laboratory shows the difference.
In two to three minutes the regular mattress is engulfed in flames while the serta "protected" mattress contained the fire.
Fammability Expert Gordon Damant:"It's as important as life or death. It's as important as there being potentially injuries or not injuries. And it's certainly a dramatic improvement in terms of the potential for property damage.
The Boucher's say the changes are necessary for peace of mind.. because when the heat is on, you seldom get a second chance.
Tammy Boucher: "It's very frightening, very scary, very fast."
New guidelines will be presented to congress by the end of the year for a vote. In the meantime, California has approved the first-ever state law for fire-safe mattresses. As of January, 2005, all mattresses, box springs and futons manufactured for sale in California must be open flame resistant. Florida will wait for guidelines from the Federal Government
For more information,or if you have a story for Carmel:
Call her in Dade at 305-627-CLUE
Or in Broward at 954-921-CLUE