It is important for anyone who hopes to sell contract furniture in the UK to become familiar with the new British standard for fire safety in contract furniture fabrics, BS5852. The consequences of not being up to date with this new standard could be catastrophic for anyone who makes and sells contract furniture or if you are a supplier of contract furniture to various institutions here and abroad. By not having your furniture up to code, you could get through an entire order and be ready to deliver only to have your furniture rejected at the governmental level which would be a financial disaster for your business.
So before you even bid on any UK contract furniture business, be sure your manufacturing and design people are well aware of the BS5852 standard and that steps are made to bring your new contract furniture up to code. If you have already completed this step, be sure you alter the tagging that goes with each piece of furniture so the fact that you do produce furniture pieces that conform to the BS5852 fire safety standard is prominently displayed. This is your best bet that your furniture will live up to any bid that will take that furniture to a British destination.
Of course, who of us could dispute the need for setting a high bar for fire safety standards as the British have done with the BS5852 regulations? In an urban setting, the need to do all we can to limit the flammability of institutional furniture cannot be overemphasized. Since so many of your contract furniture sales will go to hotels which means your furniture will fill literally thousands of hotel rooms, making sure your manufacturing standards meet or exceed the BS5852 standard are not just a matter of obeying the law so you can keep selling in the UK markets. It is a matter of the safety of families who use your furniture all over the world.
But the impact of the BS5852 standard goes further than just to those who must make sure furniture conforms at the manufacturing level. It is also important for suppliers, distributors and even buying agents who are looking to acquire good contract furniture for a large scale institutional setting. If you are not aware of the need to comply with this standard, it would be very easy to sell to a customer goods could be put to use because they were not in compliance with fire safety code. While you may be able to avoid financial liability if you are the supplier or distributor because the person responsible for the contract did not know about or specify that the furniture be up to code, if you do that, you risk losing the customer for repeat sales and losing your reputation for honest business dealings which can have a devastating financial impact for you long term.
A better approach would be for you to get a copy of the BS5852 British fire safety standard and get to know it well. Then if you are placing a bid for a large contract furniture job, you can be the one vendor to inform the customer of the need to buy furniture that is up to that fire safety standard or risk seeing the installation be mired in legalities and generate tremendous costs fixing the problem.
If you alert the customer at the bid level, you can be a big hero to that customer which gives you a leg up on winning the contract. Then if you sell only BS5852 compliant contract furniture, you can close the deal before it even goes to general bid because you knew about the need to comply with this important law and you were in step with the regulations. In that way, you take what could have been a negative in trying to live within the BS5852 regulation and you turn it into a positive for your ability to sell contract furniture in the UK markets. That is a smart way to turn the BS5852 standard to your advantage.