California Bureau of Electronic and Appliance Repair
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 the 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. In an effort to ensure public safety with these products, HFTI’s licensing population was broadened to include retailers, wholesalers and importers, to be able to trace the origin of a product to the source and where products were deemed dangerous, 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.
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. As time went on, 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).