Safety of furniture
Factors critical to the safety of furniture include structural durability, correct dimensions, balance, fire safety of materials and materials and additives used in manufacturing. Clarity of instructions for assembly and use also plays an important role in ensuring the safety of furniture.
The manufacturer, commissioner, importer, distributor and seller of furniture are responsible for the safety of the furniture.
Because furniture are general consumer goods, they are not CE marked, and no permission from an authority is required to sell them.
Safety requirements for furniture
Furniture must meet the requirements of the Consumer Safety Act: they must not pose a danger to the health or property of consumers. There are special requirements for the fire safety of upholstered seating furniture and mattresses. They must not be ignited by a smouldering cigarette.
There are also European standards available for certain furniture, such as children’s beds, bunk beds, baby-changing tables, playpens, tables, chairs, storage furniture and outdoor furniture.
Markings and user instructions
Furniture must be accompanied by all information necessary for safe use in Finnish and Swedish.
Instructions for assembly and use must be clear and easy to understand. For example, assembly instructions for a bookshelf must include the following:
- list of parts,
- list of required small items, such as screws and bolts,
- information on required tools,
- any instructions for mounting the bookshelf onto a wall.
A product description that contains information, such as materials, coatings and surface treatments used for the furniture and instructions for care, is voluntary. However, consumers appreciate product descriptions because they make it easier to assess the quality of the piece of furniture and make it last longer in use.
More detailed information about markings and instructions that should accompany furniture is available in standards pertaining to them.