conference center
The Conference Center at Guilford Technical Community College in Colfax, N.C.

Retail panel will focus on safety at furniture conference

The furniture industry will focus on product safety at a conference in Colfax, N.C., Oct. 2-3. The event will include a retail panel with strong participation by Home Furnishings Association members.

The American Home Furnishings Alliance 2019 Regulatory Summit will also feature Commissioner Peter Feldman of the Consumer Products Safety Commission, who will share updates on regulatory action on the furniture stability issue. Accidental tip-overs cause injuries and deaths among children every year.

The Home Furnishings Association emphasizes safety and has asked CPSC to set a mandatory standard for furniture stability. HFA urges retailers to provide customers with tip-restraint kits to anchor dressers and chests to fixed surfaces in their homes.

HFA members lead retail panel

The retail panel consists of Greg Crowley, owner of HFA member Crowley Furniture & Mattress in Kansas City, Mo., Jameson Dion, managing director of global sourcing for HFA member City Furniture in Tamarac, Fla., and Chris Fox, director of quality assurance for Raymour & Flanigan in Liverpool, N.Y. The moderator will be Doug Clark, government relations liaison for the HFA.

The retail panelists are long-time safety proponents. Crowley Furniture has partnered for years with Charlie’s House, a Kansas City nonprofit that promotes safe homes for children and distributes tip-restraint kits. City Furniture participates in the UL Stability Verification program, testing products to make sure they meet safety standards. Raymour & Flanigan makes sure that all casegoods it sells comply with ASTM requirements, according to CPSC-accredited labs. Crowley, Dion and Fox will discuss how they work with suppliers and build consumer confidence in product safety.

The summit begins at 8 a.m. Oct. 2 and continues until noon the next day at The Conference Center of Guilford Technical Community College, 7908 Leabourne Road in Colfax, just 7 miles from Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro. Other speakers include Gat Caperton, CEO of Gat Creek Furniture and chairman of the AHFA Board of Directors; Rick Rosati, chairman of the ASTM Furniture Safety Subcommittee; Evan Friedler, legal counsel for Wayfair; and Chris Andresen, senior vice president for Dutko Government Relations, who represents HFA and AHFA in Washington, D.C.

Changing regulatory environment

The summit is intended to help furniture industry executives navigate the shifting terrain of the product safety regulatory environment.

“New testing requirements and labeling provisions in the recently updated voluntary stability standard, along with a new mandatory regulation in the state of New York, have generated more inquiries to AHFA this year than any other topics,” AHFA’s Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Bill Perdue said. That not only led AHFA to devote the entire conference to the topic of furniture stability but to add an extra half-day to the program, which normally is limited to a single day.

Registration information is here.

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