About The Bureau
To protect and serve the consumers while ensuring a fair and competitive market.
To be an efficient organization that effectively protects consumers and improves the marketplace through enforcement of the law, providing customer service, and prompt licensing.
The California Bureau of Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation (HFTI) was initially established in 1911 as part of the Bureau of Labor Statistics in response to unscrupulous manufacturing in the mattress industry, which contributed to fires following the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. There were no standards at the time for disclosing the materials used in the contents of mattresses. Later, HFTI’s jurisdiction was expanded to include home furnishing products. To ensure the safety of these products, HFTI’s licensing population was broadened to include retailers, wholesalers, and importers. Licensing all who participate in the distribution chain enables HFTI to trace the origin of a product to the source when products are deemed dangerous and to have a mechanism to remove the product from the market.
In addition to bedding and furniture manufacturers, importers, wholesalers, and retailers, HFTI currently regulates supply dealers, custom upholsters, sanitizers, and manufacturers of thermal insulation.
The California Bureau of Electronic and Appliance Repair (EAR) was established in 1963 as the Bureau of Repair Services under the Department of Professional and Vocational Standards, which later became the Department of Consumer Affairs, in response to fraud and negligence in the television repair industry. In 1973, the repair of major home appliances was added to EAR’s regulatory authority. As technology evolved, the Bureau’s regulation has been revised to add such items as microwave ovens, personal computers, satellite antennas, and home office products. In 1994, service contracts over consumer electronic and home appliance products were added to EAR’s regulatory authority, in response to companies selling or administering contracts without providing adequate financial backing or properly disclosing the terms and conditions, as required in the California Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act. In 2004, the products covered under service contracts were expanded to include furniture, jewelry, lawn and garden products, and many other items used in homes and for personal use. Senate Bill 1483 (Hill, Ch. 578, St. of 2018) will further expand products covered under service contracts to all consumer products (with a few exceptions) beginning January 1, 2020.
In an effort to effectively share resources and provide cost savings, HFTI and EAR were housed together and placed under the oversight of one Chief in the late 1990s. Over time, different units within the Bureaus consolidated and staff cross-trained, blending the workload together. In 2009, legislation (ABx4 20) officially merged the two bureaus together as the Bureau of Electronic and Appliance Repair, Home Furnishings, and Thermal Insulation (BEARHFTI).
In October of 2017, Senate Bill 19 was signed into law and established within BEARHFTI the Division of Household Movers. The purpose of this division was the regulation of household movers performing moves of household goods and personal effects over any public highway in the state. Jurisdictional oversight of this industry was transferred from the California Public Utility Commission to BEARHFTI on July 1, 2018. In recognition of the Bureau’s expanded role, Senate Bill 1483 changed the name of the Bureau to the Bureau of Household Goods and Services effective January 1, 2019.