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What You Need To Know About Fire-Retardant Event Fabric

Posted by Pipe and Drape on 5/13/2021 to Pipe and Drape
What You Need To Know About Fire-Retardant Event Fabric

Your drapery should look stunning, but, even more importantly, it must be safe. Whether you’re a trade show exhibitor or an event planner, this guide will help you learn what you need to know about fire retardant event fabric.

The Basics

This might sound strange, but there are zero official national laws or regulations regarding the use of flame-retardant fabrics in public venues. On the other hand, individual states and cities can dictate their own standards regarding fire-retardant event drapery; even the event venue might have its own drapery safety standards in place. In other words, read up on local guidelines. Other than the venue, reaching out to the local Fire Marshal can help you find the regulations you’ll have to follow when setting up some lavish drapes at your next event.

When you purchase brilliant event drapery, always ask the vendor if you can obtain a Flame Retardant Certificate; it may come in handy depending on local regulations. In fact, local authorities might ask for additional data, so find out the local requirements as early as possible so you can gather the proper paperwork in time for the event.

NFPA 701

The National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) has a smart set of standards for event drapes to abide by, including NFPA 701, which is the most widely used of the bunch. To make sure you’re balancing safety and beauty at your big event, let’s dive deeper into what NFPA 701 is.

Fabrics are NFPA 701 certified after passing the aptly titled NFPA 701 Small Scale test. This test studies several factors regarding how fabrics react to fire exposure for 12 seconds, such as char length, flame size, and whether it continues to burn after falling and resting on the floor. If the after-flame lasts less than two seconds, the char length measures below 6.5” long, and the fabric doesn’t burn once it reaches the ground, the fabric earns NFPA 701 certification.

Notable Terminology

You’ll see a few acronyms consistently used across our fabrics, such as our ceiling drapes, to describe the fireproof nature of each stylish set. There’s FR, NFR, DFR, and IFR. As you might be able to guess, FR stands for “flame retardant,” which means the fabric has been properly treated with flame-retardant chemicals. On the other hand, NFR stands for “non-flame retardant fabric,” which is a name that speaks for itself.

DFR stands for “durably flame retardant”; this means a fabric is expertly treated with a water-soluble compound to ensure customers can stick the fabric in the laundry without hindering the fire safety specs. DFR fabrics can usually withstand around 25 washes, but IFR fabrics can last through even more wash cycles. IFR stands for “Inherently Flame Retardant,” which means the fabric’s fire resistance comes from how it’s originally woven; no additional steps required to boost fire safety.

Thanks to this breakdown of what you need to know about fire retardant event fabric, you can provide both style and fire safety when the big day arrives. If you're looking for fabulous fire-resistant fabric for your big event, begin reading up on local regulations today.

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