Flammable clothing and bedding are very dangerous and often times cause death and disfigurement to unsuspecting consumers due to serious burn injuries. If your clothing catches fire, flames may spread quickly through the clothing, sometimes causing the material to melt onto your skin, and create severe and disfiguring burns all over your body. If you bedding catches fire, especially if you’re sleeping, your temple of relaxation could become a death trap. Depending on the type of fabric, textile construction, weaves, weight, and finish, as well as looseness of fit, certain materials, when ignited accidentally, can pose a serious risk of a burn injury or even death. The Pennsylvania burn injury and product liability lawyers at the Philadelphia law firm of Reiff & Bily have been researching and handling flammable clothing and bedding claims since 1979.
The one of the consumer product laws passed in 1953 was the Flammable Fabrics Act (FFA) to regulate the manufacture of highly flammable clothing due to an epidemic of burns from flammable children’s clothing in the 1940s. In 1967, Congress amended the FFA to expand coverage to include interior furnishings as well as paper, plastic, foam, and other materials used in wearing apparel and interior furnishings. Responsibility for administering the FFA was transferred to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) when it was created in 1972. Under the FFA, the CPSC can issue mandatory flammability standards for manufacturers, importers, distributors, and retailers of fabric and garments. After standards for sleepwear were loosened in 1996, an increase in clothing burns among young children wearing loose sleep garments was observed. Despite efforts by the CPSC, injuries resulting from flammable clothing and fabric still remain a danger.