Draperies and event fabrics for public venues like theatres and convention centres are required by local legislation to meet specific Flame Retardant standards. Standards and certification requirements vary internationally and regionally. In order to provide the maximum safety level for our worldwide customers, ShowTex conducts a variety of Flame Retardant standard tests for all fabrics.
- In Europe and Australia, the most accepted standards in the industry are the French, German and British standards. Recently, also the European EN 13773 standard for curtains is becoming more common.
- In the US, NFPA 701 is accepted in almost all states.
- In most of Asia, the EU standards are common, combined with the Chinese standard.
Although standards and testing procedures differ for each country and are difficult to compare, the industry has formed an unofficial consensus about their ranking. This ranking only reflects the difficulty level of passing a specific test, without categorizing the value of the test itself. Our research and development department applies for multiple tests for each fabric, based on their expertise of the tests available.
These are the most used FR standards, ordered by geographical location, since the parameters of the test methods vary greatly and are difficult to compare:
||BS 5867 part 2B
||EN 13773 (2003)-CL.1
||GB8624-2012 class B1
You will note that fabrics on this website often have more than one certification. If a standard is not mentioned with a specific fabric, it’s possible the fabric did not pass certification testing, is in the process of being tested, or hasn’t been deemed necessary for the test.
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Due to the changing nature of safety requirements and industry standards, the Flame Retardant Standard certification of all our fabrics is subject to change.
Fabric components affected by REACH guidelines are also subject to change. REACH is a new European Community Regulation on chemicals and their safe use (EC 1907/2006). It deals with the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemical substances.
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- FR: Flame Retardant
Fabric has been topically treated in an immersion process with a chemical fire retardant after the fabric has been woven. Because the treatment is topical, it will wear out in time, and repeated cleanings will cause the flame retardancy to dissolve sooner.
Most flameproofing chemicals are water soluble and will also dissipate through dry cleaning. Draperies made from FR fabrics should be re-tested periodically for flame retardancy, as retreatment may be required.
- IFR: Inherently Flame Retardant
This type of fabric is woven from fibres that are noncombustible for the life of the fabric. For this reason the fire retardancy of IFR fabrics will last for the life of the fabric or curtain and not dissipate after cleaning. Our IFR Polyester and Trevira CS textiles consist of these fibres and yarns with "built-in safety".
- NFR: Not Flame Retardant
The fabric has not been tested or has not passed any test. Some of these fabrics can be sprayed with an FR Product to reduce flammability. Some may be accepted in smaller quantities or for specific applications. Check with local legislation.
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