Be Safe – Be Sure – Be LOFA Assured

Company: LOFA

The Leisure and Outdoor Furniture Association is made up of the best brands within the outdoor leisure industry and the products they supply are not only of the highest quality but also safe. 

LOFA wanted to ensure that all the cushions sold by their furniture members complied with the most up to date safety standards so with this in mind they set up LOFA Assured, an initiative in partnership with Hertfordshire Trading Standards, that audits each LOFA member that sells cushioned furniture.

The audit requires the members to have full traceability on all cushions that they supply into the UK marketplace. Through extensive research LOFA have proven that 8 out of 10 samples on the shop floor or out in the marketplace are non-compliant with current UK regulations making the products unsafe.

Proof of unsafe and non-compliant products is often hard to come but this story proves that nonregulated cushions are still being brought into the country and sold to an unsuspecting public.

Hefty fine for Romford shop selling dangerous furniture
Published: Wednesday, 21 September 2022

A Romford-based furniture shop has received a £15,000 fine for selling unsafe chairs that did not meet fire safety requirements, following an investigation by Havering Council.

The owners of Rattan Garden Furniture Ltd appeared in Barkingside Magistrates' Court on Tuesday 6 September after Havering’s Trading Standards team received an anonymous complaint about two of their products – the ‘Atlanta’ and ‘Tokyo’ chairs. 

Trading Standards conducted test purchases of two Atlanta chairs and sent them to a laboratory for fire safety tests. The results indicated that the fabric and foam used in the chairs were unsafe. 

Subsequently, the council, supported by Essex Trading Standards, seized the ‘Atlanta’ and ‘Tokyo chairs from the company’s Essex warehouse. 

A suspension notice for the ‘Tokyo’ and ‘Atlanta’ product lines were also issued to Rattan Garden Furniture Ltd to prevent the sale of these product lines.  

Test reports for the seized chairs concluded that the fabric and foam used in the chairs were not compliant with the Fire Safety Standards for upholstered furniture (BS 5852) and therefore unsafe.

Rattan Furniture Company Ltd pleaded guilty to possessing goods that did not meet safety regulations, with the intention to sell to the public.

The company also pleaded guilty to contravening a suspension notice for continuing to advertise the Atlanta and Tokyo chairs for sale on its website after the suspension notice was issued.  

The company received a fine of £15,000 for the offences. It was also ordered to pay costs in excess of £13,000.

Councillor Ray Morgon, Leader of Havering Council, said:

“In the wake of recent tragedies, it is vital that businesses follow strict fire safety rules for products to ensure their customers stay safe. There is no excuse for businesses to sell unsafe products. 

“It’s sad that we had to take action against this company, but I’m pleased with this result, and hope it encourages other companies to ensure their products meet British safety standards.” 

Mr Brightman and Ms Jane Rayment, the company’s Manager and Director respectively, both received an administrative caution for being in possession of goods for supply, that did not meet the requirements of the safety regulations, and contravening the suspension notice.

Don’t play cushion-roulette – always buy from a LOFA member – always buy a LOFA Assured product. Don’t gamble with the safety of your loved ones.

The LOFA Assured Swing tag means that retailers and consumers can be safe in the knowledge that these cushions have been tested to the highest standards and comply with the same fire-retardant regulations as your indoor furniture.
LOFA Assured web page

Share this...
Next Article Back

For the full list of Products - See the Product Zones