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21st April 2017
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FIRA expands its worldwide testing capabilities
The Furniture Industry Research Association has announced the expansion of its testing capabilities at its Stevenage-based testing centre, to encompass testing to American standards.
FIRA's latest investment is equipment which allows testing of the safety and performance of office and lounge seating to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and Business and Institutional Furniture Manufactures Association (BIFMA) standards. The US standards are intended to provide manufacturers, specifiers and users with a common basis for evaluating safety, durability and the structural adequacy of the specified furniture. The ANSI/BIFMA standards differ from British and European standards and define specific tests, laboratory equipment to be used, conditions of the test and minimum acceptance levels to be used in evaluating products.
With this latest expansion into testing to ANSI/BIFMA standards, FIRA's testing centre can now test to American, British, European, International and ISO standards. This is a major boost for UK furniture exporters; especially as US standards are commonly used outside of Europe. This means that FIRA clients can now have their products tested at the FIRA testing centre for worldwide markets.
The large investment shows FIRA's continued commitment to supporting the UK furniture industry, and adds to recent machinery investments made in mattress and foam testing equipment earlier this year.
"This year we have invested over £50k in our testing facilities, with more investment planned for later in the year," says Phil Reynolds, Technical Services Director. "At FIRA we are dedicated to providing the highest quality service for our furniture industry clients, and this is mirrored in our investment in new testing machinery. Testing standards continue to develop, and it is essential that we do the same to ensure we provide the most accurate and reliable results available for our clients."
Having products FIRA tested before bringing them to the market can save all sectors of the furniture industry - manufacturers, importers retailers and specifiers alike - both the time and the large sums of money involved in rectifying, withdrawing or replacing products.
FIRA is acknowledged globally as a leading authority on furniture testing, offering product testing to ensure that furniture products are safe, legal and fit for purpose through materials, upholstery and structural testing.
Since 1949, FIRA has developed many of the test methods which form the basis of furniture standards and regulations worldwide and continue to be heavily involved with the standards development process in the UK, Europe and Internationally.
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3rd June 2011