Estimating the Impact of 16 CFR Part 1633 on Bed Fire Outcomes
Stanley W. Gilbert, David T. Butry, Rick D. Davis, Richard G. Gann
Effective July 1, 2007, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission promulgated a standard to severely reduce the heat release rate and the early heat output from mattresses and foundations when ignited by a flaming ignition source. This study estimates the Standards success over its first decade. The Standard is accomplishing its purpose, resulting in considerable reductions in fatalities and injuries from bed fires ignited by flaming sources. Approximately 65 fatalities were prevented annually during the two-year period 2015-2016. Relative to residential upholstered furniture fires, the numbers of these fires decreased by 12 %, injuries by 34 %, and deaths by 82 % between 2005-2006 and 2015-2016. Per bed fire, injuries decreased by 25 % and fatalities decreased by 67 %. The decreases in injuries and, especially, fatalities are larger than the decrease in the number of fires, suggesting that the most severe fires are being prevented by the Standard. The calculations were not significantly affected by the method for calculating the replacement rate of pre-Standard mattresses, variability in fire reporting among fire departments, whether the initial combustible was reported as the mattress or bedding, or whether the mattress or bedding was reported as the item most contributing to flame spread.