Mattresses Must Meet Stricter Standards

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Home fires are devastating. This past February, ten people in one family were killed in a home that went up in flames in Bardstown.

Where is one of the most common places for home fire to start? In the bedroom.

"Children playing with matches and lighters, candles, people having candles all over their home-anytime any of that stuff gets too close to a mattress than you're potentially going to have a really bad fire," said Marlee Boenig, PIO of the Bowling Green Fire Dept.

In response, the Consumer Product Safety Commission is enforcing new codes. Mattresses must now meet stricter flame-resistant standards.

"The whole point of the regulation is to buy additional time for families to get out to safety and additional time for firefighters to get in and take control in the event of a house fire," said Scott Walters, National Merchandising Manager of the Louisville Bedding Company.

Bedding companies have now had to invest in much research and development to comply with the new regulations. Louisville Bedding Company is the world's largest manufacturer of mattress pads and a major supplier of raw materials to other manufacturers.

The FireDefender is one alternative for families. It's a mattress pad and box-spring cover that allows your mattress to smolder up to 30 minutes and it's one of the new options that the CPSC hopes saves lives.

"This new item is designed for somebody who might not be able to replace their mattress but is concerned about fire safety in the bedroom," Walters said.

According to the National Fire Protection Agency, nearly 700 deaths and thousands of injuries are due to bedroom fires each year. Under the new guidelines, if flames are less quickly to spread, those numbers should drastically drop.

The new flame-resistant mattress regulations became effective July 1, 2007, so it's important to remember that unless you have a brand-new mattress, it probably doesn't meet the CPSC's new codes.

For more information on the FireDefender Sleep System, visit

For more information on the Consumer Product Safety Commission's new mattress mandates, visit