Fire safety ignites rules rethink

The government is considering how to reform rules that are intended to save lives in fires but have introduced toxicity to our homes and environment. Gareth Simkins investigates

UK rules state that all upholstered furniture, including sofas and scatter cushions, should be match and cigarette resistant. Photograph: Belchonock / 123RFFew things in health, safety and environmental protection divide opinion as much as flame retardants. Producers say they save lives and property from needless destruction. However, chemicals campaigners argue that they are dangerous and can even make fires more deadly.

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