When carrying out work in contract environments it is a legal requirement in the UK for the curtains to be certified to fire retardant standards.
This is a guide of the fire retardant curtain regulations in the UK.
The match test is designed to replicate a match or small flame igniting the cover fabric on upholstered furniture. The test material is placed tightly against a flammable test foam with a flame held against it for 20 seconds;
after the flame is removed, any remaining fire must go out within two minutes.
The test was developed partly in reaction to a devastating fire in a Woolworth store in central Manchester in 1979, which claimed the lives of 10 people. The fire investigation identified flammable polyurethane foam in the store’s furniture stock, and the thick toxic smoke it produced, as key contributors to the incident’s severity.
So, in 1988, the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations came into effect.
Failure to comply with product safety requirements could lead to prosecution. Pleading ignorance is not accepted as a defence.
Let's jump in and look at our main market which is the United Kingdom.
Domestic curtain fabrics will not normally be flame retardant. Always check the product information to see whether they have the following regulations.
BS5867 - British standard for drapery including curtains and blinds.
This standard covers everything that you require for fire retardant curtains in the United Kingdom.
The standard is broken up into 2 sections;
Part2B which is 10 washes whilst staying flame retardant.
Part2C which is 50 washes / inherently flame retardant.
Areas of use for BS5867
- Hotels, Care Homes, Schools, Hospitals, Medical Centres, Village Halls, Commercial Offices
Care Home Regulations for Fire Retardant Curtains
When working in care environment the goal is to keep residents safe and keep the care home compliant to any regulations set out by the government and the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
The CQC have stated that you need to be inline with their framework under regulation 15: Premises and Equipment. This works in conjunction with the government specifics for public spaces.