The last thing you want as a U.S. holiday decoration importer is to find out your products have been denied by customs, rejected by Amazon, or recalled by regulatory agencies because they didn’t meet the relevant product safety standards. Implementing a robust home decor quality control and testing program can help protect you from these negative outcomes — but how do you know which product safety standards to check for in the first place?
In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into the key safety standards that impact different categories of holiday decoration items in the U.S.
Fabrics and Textiles
Homeware textiles like curtains, upholstery, and rugs play an essential role in holiday decorating. The most important product safety standards for these items involve labeling and flammability. It’s not uncommon for these items to be in close proximity to heat sources like candles or heaters. This is why the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has set strict guidelines to ensure these products undergo flammability testing for ignition resistance, flame spread, and other factors.
Proper labeling is equally important as it helps consumers make informed, safe decisions about which products to use. Here's a more detailed look at the product safety standards for labeling textiles.
Textile Fiber Rule
The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Textile Fiber Rule states that certain textiles sold in the United States must carry labels stating the generic names and percentages by weight of the fibers comprising the product. This is important because some consumers may be allergic to certain materials.
Per parts 1640 and 1631 of Title 16 in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), rugs, carpets, and upholstered furniture must carry labels about their compliance with CPSC flammability standards and flame retardant treatments.
California Proposition 65
For products intended to be sold in California, additional warning labels are required if any of the chemicals on the Proposition 65 list are present.
Lighting products, including lamps, string lights, and outdoor lighting, are especially popular for year-round and holiday decorating in the U.S. Due to their electrical components, these products must adhere to multiple electrical safety standards and certification requirements, most of which are set by Underwriter Laboratories (UL). Failure to comply with these standards can lead to injuries and product recalls that tarnish your brand.
UL Lighting Standards
Obtaining the appropriate UL certification for your lighting products signifies they have undergone rigorous testing and meet safety and performance standards. Here are some common UL standards that apply to lighting products:
- UL 1598 – standards for luminaries
- UL 588 – standards for seasonal and decorative lighting products
- UL 8801 – standards for solar-powered lighting
Each standard covers a variety of safety features like minimum wire size, overcurrent protection, and strain relief.
Sofas, tables, chests, and other large furniture items are key elements of interior home decor. To be imported into the U.S., these items must meet varying standards for stability and chemical safety depending on what they are used for and what they are made of.
Furniture tip-overs pose a significant safety risk to children. Since the year 2000, the CPSC has reported nearly 200 child fatalities caused by clothing storage unit tip-overs alone in the U.S. To address this issue, on April 19, 2023, the CPSC voted to make the ASTM F2057-23 a mandatory safety standard to protect children from furniture tip-over incidents. This standard includes testing for a number of performance requirements, including:
- Stability when the unit is placed on carpeting
- Stability with loaded drawers and multiple drawers open
- Stability when a child up to 60 pounds interacts with the unit
Furniture items may contain finishes, adhesives, and other materials that must meet chemical safety standards to avoid health risks. For example, composite wood products must meet restrictions for formaldehyde emissions set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in part 770 of Title 40 in the CFR. Likewise, part 1303 of Title 16 bans, “furniture articles for consumer use bearing lead-containing paint.” It’s important to test and verify that your imported furniture meets these product safety standards for chemicals.
Ensure Safety and Compliance for Your Holiday Decoration Products
For U.S. importers of holiday decoration products, working with a third-party laboratory for quality inspection can ensure your products comply with all relevant safety standards.
Our experts at Asia Quality Focus have assisted numerous home decor brands with product safety testing for a wide range of homeware items. We leverage an extensive network of trained inspectors across Asia and other major manufacturing hubs to deliver high-quality inspection reports and efficient turnaround times.
Get in touch with us today to discover how our comprehensive safety testing services can enhance the quality, safety, and compliance of your home decor products.