HC Deb 19 July 1971 vol 821 cc1009-10
2. Mr. Alec Jones

asked the Secretary of State for Wales whether he will consider issuing guidance to health and education authorities in Wales over the fire hazards presented by the use of furniture containing rubber or plastic foam.

The Minister of State, Welsh Office (Mr. David Gibson-Watt)

This matter will continue to be kept under review, and health and education authorities will be informed of any significant developments.

Mr. Jones

Does not the Minister agree that there is growing evidence from fire service authorities, from trade unions involved in the manufacture of this furniture, and from newspaper and private tests that there is a real fire hazard in using furniture containing foam and plastics? Does he not further agree that it is absolutely necessary to ensure that no school or hospital in Wales uses such furniture?

Mr. Gibson-Watt

My Department maintains close contact with the Fire Department in the Home Office on matters concerning fire hazards in schools and hospitals. Foam mattresses are normally obtained by hospitals through contracts made by the Department of Health and Social Security. These are now of plastic foam only ; latex foam ones are no longer bought.