Suppliers hail metal bunk bed test An extra safety test on metal bunk beds

An extra safety test on metal bunk beds is being recommended by the Consumer Products Safety Commission. The safety standard is also being amended in guidelines set forth by the American Society for Testing and Materials. The new test requires metal bunk beds to be rocked side to side and backward and forward for 10,000 cycles. Over 300 incidents of metal bunk beds collapsing were the reason behind the new safety test.

Reports of collapsed metal bunk beds have led industry executives to endorse the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission's recommendation to adopt an extra voluntary safety test for metal bunks. Eastman buys Aireloom Bedding

In a Dec. 1 meeting here, a subcommittee of the American Society for Testing & Materials, which includes metal bed suppliers, retailers and consumers, voted to amend voluntary safety guidelines for bunk beds adopted in September 1992.

The amendment, based on European guidelines for the structural integrity of bunk beds, recommends adopting a test in which beds would be rocked forward and backward, then side to side for 10,000 cycles.

Roger Filizetti, vice president of administration and finance for Fashion Bed Group, noted, "It gives us another way to check for failures. That's a key for the concerned manufacturer, distributor and retailer of bunk beds. Based on the failures that the CPSC has reported from various companies, it's recommended to have an additional test in the marketplace."

Steve Kyger, area sales manager for Mattress Giant, based in Carrollton, Texas, welcomed the new test. Kyger noted, "We were carrying a bunk bed to be competitive in price, and safety became a factor. Our company made a decision to offer quality at a low price, not just a low price.

"There is junk out there. Some of the biggest retailers are carrying the biggest junk. There are major retailers out there who are just focusing on price, and I'm sure they are paying for it in customer credibility.

"The customer comes out there, and all they know is they look the same. That's why we've trained our people to know what the differences are. Once they are educated and know what to look for, they buy quality everytime," he added.

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Tamara Auman, manager of Dallas Furniture in High Point, N.C., agreed that the extra test is needed. "I'm sort of leery about metal bunk beds because we have had problems. Some of them are just not constructed well. After six months or so, the screws begin to pull out. You don't want to be known as a company that sells junk. It [the test] would be an incentive to purchase something knowing that it does meet the standards." Hillside name reflects strategy

The test is designed to ensure that the fasteners attaching the top and bottom bunks are secure. The CPSC urged the subcommittee, which drafted the original safety guidelines, to adopt the amendment after hearing of more than 300 incidents of collapsed metal bunk beds.

John Preston, an engineer for the CPSC, who urged the subcommittee to adopt the test, noted, "The beds that failed in use fail the 10,000-cycles test. So far, we haven't had any deaths due to the collapse problem. Usually there are major lacerations or fractured limbs. But there is a potential for worse.

"The subcommittee was very responsive to the CPSC's request. The manufacturers want to stop these problems, and a lot of them are already having labs run this test. They are not waiting for the standards to come out," he added. http://futonszone.com/false-comparative-pricing-futon-issue-wont-die/

Now that the subcommittee has approved the amendment, it will need to be reviewed by the CPSC's Committee for Consumer Products. If approved by that committee, a final vote would be held by the ASTM membership.

Larry K. Jones
 

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