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BRC Code of Practice - Modified EN71-2 Test Method for the Flammability Safety of Children’s Dress-up

January 28, 2016


Pending official announcement of UK British Retail Consortium (BRC), two Codes of Practice are introduced to help improve the safety of children’s dress up clothing.

  1. Additional Flammability Labeling of Children’s Dress-up
  2. Method of Test for the Flammability Safety of Children’s Dress-up

Voluntary and in addition to the requirements of the EU Toy Safety Directive 2009/48/EC / EN71-2, the BRC Modified EN71-2 test requirements include:

  • Test is conducted in an unwashed condition
  • Tests are performed in duplicate
  • Tests are performed including trim

Specific requirements for manufacturers are included requiring that:
-  Foam fillings meet requirements of FMVSS 302 /BS AU 169a
-  Non-foam filling meets the requirements of the UK furniture and furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 Schedule 2 Part 1
-  Flame retardant chemicals are not permitted

  • The number of samples typically required for a full test is dependent on costume type and complexity
  • A minimum of 6 garments would probably suffice but in some cases additional garments may still be required to cover all the variations
  • For simple designs, large capes or simple top and trouser sets, as few as 1 or 2 garments could be required

Laboratories conducting the tests should be UKAS or mutually accredited to ISO 17025 and the standard EN71-2 test included in their Scope of Accreditation.


Why It Matters

Clothing can burn rapidly when accidentally ignited by contact with an open flame or significant heat source raising the risk of serious injury, burns and in the worst scenario death. Children are especially vulnerable when playing without suitable adult supervision.

As a result of the increased risk, mandatory regulations are in place to control the fire performance of the fabrics used in nightwear and toys, along with compulsory labeling to make the consumer more aware of the dangers:

  • The Nightwear (Safety) Regulations 1985
  • The Toy Safety Directive 2009/48/EC

Members have investigated this issue and the BRC has worked with the British Standards Technical Committee to approach CEN with a view to reviewing the appropriateness of the existing test standard EN 71-2.

Statistics and compliance with existing test methods indicate that dress up outfits appear safe; however retailers would like to see them made safer. Safety test methods must reflect the hazards presented by today’s style of costumes, fabrics and finishes used. This interim step is in anticipation of a new standard, developed over time.

How UL Can Help

For more details on how UL can help you bring regulatory compliant, safe, and quality products to market contact [email protected].   A UL representative will follow up with you soon.