By Cheminne Taylor–Smith
The flammability issue is incredibly complex and difficult to understand. There are several government regulators involved with differing ideas, at this point, of where the bedding industry will go from here.
But among all of the questions and the concerns, there are people who have worked hard to find the answers that make sense for our industry.
Pat Martin, executive director of the Sleep Products Safety Council, has devoted an unbelievable amount of her time and energy to the flammability issues. For those of you who don’t know Pat, she is an enormous amount of energy wrapped in a small package.
Pat has been committed to leading the efforts, meeting with any and all regulators, helping promote and develop scientific studies and pushing and prodding anyone she believes should be involved.
Serta’s Al Klancnik, chairman and president of the SPSC, has been the “rebel with a cause” in the flammability issue. Ever quotable and impassioned, Al has led the charge for the industry, putting aside individual company concerns and needs.
The work that Al and Pat – as well as many others in the bedding industry and on ISPA’s staff – have done is beginning to show results.
At last month’s ISPA Industry Conference in Aspen, Colo. (see page 7), the bedding industry received praise from Don Bliss, president of the National Association of State Fire Marshals.
In a videotaped address to over 200 attendees at the conference, Bliss said that the bedding industry and ISPA has been “fair and honest” (see page 13). He went on to acknowledge that “your world is turning upside down. Lots of change. But by being responsible and fair, ISPA has bought itself a seat at the (regulatory) table, and demonstrated that you are an industry that deserves to be trusted.”
Bliss pledged the bedding industry the support of NASFM “with regulatory bodies, in the news media, even in the courtroom.”
We still have a long way to go before we’ve conquered the flammability issues that face us. But if we as an industry continue to speak with one voice, keeping our focus on the best solutions for the bedding industry as a whole, we will achieve our goals.
After all, as Bliss said, “this is a very special group.”