ARLINGTON, VA. - An association of state fire officials has hired former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu to try to build support for national furniture flammability legislation.
The National Association of State Fire Marshals said in a June 8 letter that it wants federal legislation for upholstered furniture based on California's Technical Bulletin 117, a strict standard opposed by much of the furniture industry and the Alliance for the Polyurethanes Industry. The alliance is a unit of the American Plastics Council in Arlington.
Nonetheless, an API official said that the group is looking forward to talking with the fire marshals, who envision broad-based talks led by Sununu.
``I think the specifics are probably things that will be clarified as this moves forward,'' said Fran Lichtenberg, API executive director.
Don Bliss, fire marshal for New Hampshire and the head of NASFM's effort, said California's tougher standard has resulted in a 25 percent lower fire death rate in the state.
Sununu will not lobby Congress but instead will work on bringing the groups to consensus to forge legislation by November, Bliss said.