I recently bought a new mattress. A bright yellow card that came with the product and warranty information caught my eye. It was a list of eight tips from the Sleep Products Safety Council (SPSC), a group devoted to advancing the safety of sleep products that is supported by the mattress industry.
I love industry groups like this that are focused on public education.
Here is the organization’s “Eight Things You Need to Know About Your Mattress”:
- Don’t smoke in bed. This is a common cause of fatal bedroom fires.
- Keep matches and lighters away from children. Playing with fire can be deadly.
- Using candles in a bedroom is dangerous. Even a small candle can ignite a deadly fire.
- Keep space heaters far away from beds and any flammable items. Follow all the space heater manufacturer’s instruction and warnings.
- Don’t run electrical cords under your bed or trap them against a wall. Heat from cords can build up and cause a fire. Avoid placing lamps where they can fall on the bed.
- Don’t sleep with a baby or let a baby sleep in an adult bed. Babies can suffocate or be strangled if trapped between a mattress and a wall or bed frame, or if an adult rolls over them.
- Discard the plastic wrapping on your mattress. A child or pet can become entangled and suffocate.
- Promptly dispose of old mattresses to avoid a fire hazard.
These are mostly things we know, but just reading the list made me think twice about where the electrical cords are in the bedrooms in my house. I’m going to double-check now!
Probably the most important advice from the SPSC is that in case of fire, get yourself and loved ones out of the house first–then call 9-1-1.
About the Contributor
Helen Sullivan is Communications Counsel for the CertiPUR-US® program.