New Mattress Regulations

Vincent Okamura
Vincent Okamura
Captain Terry Seelig
Captain Terry Seelig

(KHNL) - Mattresses and other furniture can quickly turn a home on fire into an inferno.

But beginning this Sunday, all new mattresses, will have to meet higher fire standards, if they are sold or imported into Hawaii.

"By July 1st all mattresses have to be basically fire retardant." says Vincent Okamura of Wholesale Mattress Company.

The new mattresses are required to be manufactured to be slower burning and more resistant to candles, matches and lighters. Hawaii's fire crews like the idea of more flame resistant materials in homes.

"Materials that are fire resistant are a good choice for something less likely to catch fire." says Capt. Terry Seelig of the Honolulu Fire Department.

But local firefighters also feel people shouldn't just rely on new materials to replace some good ole common sense when it comes to fire safety, and keep flames away from things that burn.

Manufacturers say you won't be able to feel the difference in this new mattresses, but you may still notice a difference, on the price tag.

"One thing, the cost has gone up, the cost went up ten percent." says Okamura.

The estimates are the new mattresses could "save" as many as 270 lives nationwide and lower the number of fire injuries every year, by providing more time for people to escape. Which is critical during a fire crisis.

"Its amazing how little time it takes for a fire to start when you have an open flame." adds Capt. Seelig.

These new mattress regulations cover open flames, like candles and lighters, while regulations over cigarettes have been in place for the past 30 years.