Tulsa Firm Studies Product Safety

Wednesday, June 24th 2009, 5:11 pm
By: News On 6

By Dan Bewley and Terry Hood, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- A Tulsa business spends its day setting mattresses on fire and trying to clog toilets.  It sounds strange, but it's been going on for more than 30 years in an effort to keep you and your family safe.

"The red line right here is real time heat release rate," said Brian McDonald, Tulsa Division Manager for SGS Testing Center.

In a non-descript north Tulsa building, test after test puts faucets, toilets, and mattresses on the front line.

"Manufacturers from all over the U.S. and all over the world, in essence, pay us to destroy their product," said Brian McDonald with SGS Testing Center.

The SGS Testing Center has been analyzing products for more than three decades.  Researchers have two testing areas.  One is for plumbing materials.

"Basically, if you turn your faucet on it comes on and if you turn it off, it actually goes off and doesn't leak," said plumbing specialist Scott Parkhurst.

The tests look at faucets, hot tubs, even the piping that goes under your home.

"Anything you can think of that would flow water through it or on it," said Brian McDonald with SGS Testing Center.

The other testing area looks to see if your household furniture is flammable.

"Specifically mattresses, mattress pads, upholstered furniture being chairs, couches," said Brian McDonald.

A mattress made after government standards reduced the danger will burn, but the fire doesn't spread.  A mattress made before government regulations takes no time to be destroyed.

SGS is the only testing center in Tulsa that deals with consumer products.  Researchers say it's like being the first line of defense for shoppers.  They say pushing a product to its limits is worth it to keep families safe.

"It's a new experience every day, new challenge," said plumbing specialist Scott Parkhurst.

You can tell if something you're about to buy has been inspected and passed by SGS, their logo will be on the product.