Direct Fabrics Blog

  • Installing & Maintaining Smoke &Fire Curtains - Our Guide

    A fire safety and protection system is imperative in any given business establishment. Along with this is to set a regular inspection and maintenance in place for these systems. Whether fire alarms, fire extinguishers, or sprinkler systems, they ought to be constantly checked and maintained so that they will function as expected when needed.

    Critical components of a fire safety and protection system are usually smoke and fire curtains. In this article, we'll share with you our guide on how to install and maintain them:

    1. Clear the area where curtains are installed

    When it comes to curtain inspection and maintenance, the first step is to clear the area where the fire and smoke curtains will be installed. Doing this particularly applies to vertical, perimeter, and elevator curtains in your commercial building. Make sure these curtains extend from the ceiling to the floor. Likewise, get rid of shelves, garbage cans, and other items in the area beneath the curtains.

    2. Perform testing of curtain deployment

    Apart from setting the fire and smoke curtains in place, you must also perform the testing of curtain deployment on a regular basis. For the most part, be sure to conduct this at least every six months. Along with the deployment is a fire drill to simulate the actual application of the curtain system in case of a fire emergency so that your business will be compliant with the local fire and building codes.

    3. Test back-up power source

    Another top consideration is testing any back-up power source as part of testing your smoke and fire curtains. For the most part, this curtain system is connected to the main power source. However, the primary power source may be compromised during a fire outbreak. For this reason, it's best to have a back-up system set in place, which is required to be tested as well for its overall efficacy.

    4. Check for wear and tear

    During the actual testing stage, it's a good idea to check for signs of wear and tear of your curtain system. This is because they might be damaged, worn out, or stuck with debris and other potential blockages. For this reason, be sure to perform a full inspection and fix any issues to ensure these curtains are in top shape and perfectly working.

    5. Document the inspection

    When performing regular inspection and maintenance of your curtain system, you must remember to document everything. While you're at it, include the date, time, context of the inspection, damages discovered, as well as actions taken to address any deficiencies. Doing so will ensure that safety measures are set in place and that the company is always compliant with the local fire and building codes.

    Conclusion

    At this point, we've covered how it is to install and maintain smoke and fire curtains in your business establishment. As outlined above, be sure to clear the area where curtains are installed, perform testing deployment, test back-up power source, check for wear and tear, and document the inspection. With all these in place, you'll ensure that your smoke and fire curtains will foster the utmost safety in your building in case of a fire emergency!

    We're a leading supplier of flame-retardant curtains in the UK and other fabrics for hotels, schools, retail stores, and residential properties. If you're looking for fire-resistant curtains, check out our free fabric samples or place your order for free delivery today!

  • What to Consider When Buying Flame Retardant Curtains

    When it comes to furnishing and decorating your property, curtains are some of the easiest ways to make a big impact with minimal effort. They can change the look of a room entirely, and it comes in so many different designs and fabrics that you’re sure to find something that suits your business’ style. Curtains also exude elegance and luxuriousness to elevate your commercial space!

    Though curtains are both beautiful and functional decorations, a major concern that continues to prevent people from investing in them is that they are prone to catching fire. Most are made from fabric that catches fire very easily, such as cotton, linen, polyester, silk, velvet, and others. The characteristics of curtains also make it easy for them to catch flame rather easily, whether it’s blowing onto a table with candles or a child playing with matches.

    Fireproofing Your Curtains

    As beautiful as curtains may be, there is a need for fireproofing curtains in commercial establishments. Doing so now can help save many lives and properties later!

    Fortunately, flame retardant curtains exist and are readily available. Those who are new to these types of curtains may question what options are best for their business. Here are some things to consider when looking to purchase flame retardant curtains:

    Are flame retardant curtains necessary for my establishment?

    The short answer here is yes; you’ll most definitely need this for your commercial property! This is especially important if your industry is naturally prone to fires breaking out, such as in manufacturing or commercial kitchens.

    If and when a fire does occur, flame retardant curtains can prevent the fire from damaging your property entirely. Flame has a much more difficult time latching onto these kinds of curtains, which slow the spread of fire if they do catch! By investing in fire retardant curtains, you’re putting key fire prevention measures in place to keep everybody safe.

    How do you wash and clean flame retardant curtains?

    This depends entirely on the curtain’s fire-retardant qualities as there are different levels of flame-retardancy material.

    Checking with the curtain’s manufacturer is the easiest way to determine how and when you should wash your curtains. While there are some curtains which should not be washed at all, others can be washed a certain number of times before their fire-resistant properties diminish completely. Making certain of this will ensure that your curtains will still slow a fire down if it breaks out!

    Can you customise flame retardant curtains?

    It’s definitely possible to choose curtains from many different schemes to match your interior’s style whilst still following regulations. Fabric suppliers can help you choose the appropriate fabric and style with the level of flame-retardancy that you require.

    Which curtain headings should I choose?

    Curtain headings are the top portion of the curtain that goes through the curtain rod. Choosing the style for your headings can affect the overall look of your curtains and determine which rod or track you will need to use.

    You can often use any heading type for different windows but bear in mind that there are combinations which aren’t compatible. Eyelet headings, for instance, would not work well with bay windows—so ensure to match it with your business brand for a near effect!

    The Bottom Line

    Fireproofing one’s property is necessary, and it can be through simple acts, like installing flame-retardant curtains. It’s a safe, practical, and ingenious way to surround a property with material that can prevent and slow the spread of flame in the event of a fire. By protecting your most susceptible fabrics from catching flame, you’re ensuring your safety as well as that of your customers!

    Investing in fire-resistant curtains can protect your commercial property from unwanted fires. We at Direct Fabric supply fabrics for hotels, hospitals, and other establishments! We offer flame retardant curtains, blackout fabrics, and more. To see our complete catalogue of products, visit our website today!

  • Curtains for Fire Safety: Checking Flame-Retardant Curtains

    Taking precautions in the event of a fire is a necessity that every establishment should prepare for. After all, fires can pose a higher risk in some public spaces as compared to others. These include schools, hospitals, and theatre, where such incidents are more difficult to contain. Fire-proofing these properties is the best course of action to prevent it from happening entirely.

    One such way of fireproofing a building or a household from the fatal effects of a fire is by installing flame retardant curtains. These are specifically designed as a passive containment measure that can slow the spread of a fire when it starts.

    Here is how to check if your curtains are flame retardant and how to ensure they are if they don’t fall within the standards of safety:

    Standards for Flame Retardant Curtains

    Although the standards for flame retardant curtains are constant across state and regional levels, they may vary at the federal level. The national standard is called NFPA 701, the most flame-retardant material that is usually the benchmark for all other fabrics.

    Testing Your Curtains for Flame Retardancy

    Checking to make sure that your curtains meet the minimum requirements for flame-retardancy is crucial. Here are some tips in assessing them to ensure they meet the standard:

    1. Ask the manufacturer

    The manufacturer will know all of the details regarding the make and quality of the curtains you purchased, including their flame retardant properties. Telling the manufacturer your exact specifications and the local requirements will help you get the standard you require. They can also provide you with more fabric options so you can get flame-retardant curtains that are most suitable for your commercial property.

    2. Ask for a certificate

    By insisting on getting a certificate from the vendor or supplier, you are ensuring that the quality you asked for is what you’re getting. Make sure to request for the certificate at the time of placing the order, and clarify that you want a certificate and not just the test results.

    3. Ask your local fire department

    If you can’t go directly to the manufacturer, then your local fire department will know a thing or two about the standards of flame retardant materials. They will also know about local requirements and getting a certification.

    Fabrics and Flame Retardancy

    IFR - Inherently Flame Retardant

    Inherently flame retardant fabrics have a fire-resistant interior which does not change even after several washes. Washing guidelines should be followed carefully.

    DFR - Durably Flame Retardant

    Durably flame retardant fabrics can be washed up to 25 times without losing their ability to cover up flames. This is achieved by treating the fabric with a non-water soluble chemical.

    FR - Flame Retardant

    These are woven without any flame-retardant chemicals. It is only after this that the fabric is treated chemically to make it flame-retardant, but this property goes away after several washes.

    Besides washing, other factors can affect the flame retardancy of curtain fabrics. To help it keep longer, these curtains must be maintained well, with the regular removal of dust, debris, or oil on the fabric. While expected, the exposure of these curtains to sunlight and humidity will also affect their flame retardant properties.

    For the best results, the guidelines on maintenance should be followed to ensure that the curtains keep their flame retardancy for as long as possible.

    Types of Flame Retardant Curtains

    Blackout Curtains

    These types of curtains are typically very thick, which is perfect for adding flame retardant properties. Blackout curtains are perfect for theatres and hotels as they comply with requirements and keep light from flooding the inside of the building.

    Sheer Curtains

    There are also flame retardant curtains that are voile, sheer, or net, which gives you a beautiful sheer and flowy fabric that will still protect you from potential fire hazards.

    Conclusion

    Fire prevention is one safety measure that must be taken seriously. Flame retardant curtains are one of the most accessible and practical ways to keep a home or a building safe from fire hazards. Not only do they provide the same aesthetic accents and sun protection of traditional curtains, but they create a safe and secure atmosphere for all.

    Installing flame retardant curtains is one of the best steps towards fire safety. Here at Direct Fabric, we supply fabrics for hotels, schools, and care homes such as disposable hospital curtains, blackout fabrics, and curtains for hotels in the UK. For further inquiries, visit our website today!

  • 4 Practical Tips in Protecting Your Hotel Guests from a Fire

    A fire can strike anytime and anywhere to anyone. No matter how your business establishment has complied with the local codes and set a robust fire protection system in place, it is still subject to a potential outbreak.

    Know that your hotel is no exception because faulty appliances, electrical wirings, food preparation and cooking, or playing with a flame inside the hotel room may lead to an outbreak. This won’t only cause damages to your property, but it will also lead to serious injuries and can cost the lives of your hotel guests.

    For this reason, it's best to set safety measures in place for your hotel. In this article, we'll share five practical tips in protecting your hotel guests from a potential fire:

    1. Set a basic fire protection system

    A protection system varies from one business to another. For the most part, however, a business establishment must at least have the basic requirements. For your hotel, here are four essentials that you need to install:

    • Fire alarm: The purpose of this alarm is to provide a warning where it automatically sounds upon detecting smoke or heat. That way, your guests can quickly evacuate.
    • Extinguisher: This basic device is used to stop a small, localised flare before it escalates into a major outbreak.
    • Blanket: This safety sheet is placed over a flame to smother and suppress the flare. With this in place, your guests can prevent the flare from spreading.
    • Sprinkler system: This system consists of water supply in its piping that gets activated when smoke or heat is detected and releases water to stop the flare.

    2. Establish escape routes 

    As a property manager, you must know that your hotel guests aren't always familiar with the property's layout. If there is a fire outbreak, the chances are that they might get disoriented. Given this circumstance, the best approach is to have a detailed map of your hotel with established escape routes and they must be installed on every hotel door. During emergencies, your hotel guests will know how to safely exit to save their lives. 

    3. Install self-closing doors

    Another safety measure is to install self-closing doors that work wonder in case of an emergency. For the uninitiated, these doors automatically shut in the event of a fire. However, know that they still allow for manual opening and passage, which is an advantage. It's best to have them installed with fire-retardant materials to mitigate the spread of flame in case of an outbreak.

    4. Use flame-retardant materials

    It's a wise move for hotels to be constructed and designed with various flame-retardant materials in place. Apart from your walls, floors, and ceilings, you can have fire-retardant curtains, beddings, blinds, and other fabrics in your hotel. If there is a sudden flare, these materials can combat it and prevent it from further spreading. 

    Conclusion

    At this point, you now know what to do to prevent a fire outbreak from occurring in your hotel. All it takes is to set a basic protection system, establish escape routes, install self-closing doors, set designated areas in place, and use flame-retardant materials. All these will protect your hotel guests from a possible outbreak. Ultimately, safety is a top priority, especially for hotels!

    Are you looking for fire-resistant curtains, bedding, blinds, and fabrics for your hotels? We've got you covered! We're a leading supplier of flame-retardant curtains in the UK and other fabrics for hotels, schools, retail stores, and residential properties. Check out our free fabric samples or place your order for a free delivery today!

  • Why Use Flame-Retardant Fabric for Building Furnishings

    When you're buying a new bed runner, curtains, or furniture, you tend to focus on the material's look and feel. Sometimes, you'd check its durability and whether it stains easily or not. Often, fire safety is not a priority when selecting furnishing. With the introduction in 2005 of the Fire Safety Order, that has changed; your structure's Responsible Person now has to ensure compliance with the fire code.

    They must work with or at least consult fabric suppliers known for selling flame-retardant curtains and other items. It is to ensure that the soft furnishings used in rooms and common areas are not only comfortable but also safe. Here is a closer look at why it is vital to use flame-retardant fabric for bed runners, curtains, and similar furnishing.

    Does using flame retardant fabric help?

    Building managers or owners looking to maintain low operating costs might hesitate to purchase a set of specialised fabrics for their facility. This sentiment is especially true for places that have plenty of soft furnishings in stock; replacing these with flame-retardant variants might seem taxing. Beyond compliance with government rules, switching to flame-retardant material keeps you safe in at least two ways.

    First of all, this type of material burns slowly and self-extinguishes, which limits the spread of the flames. Second, these curtains reduce the heat build-up, which lowers the temperature in the room and prevents the likelihood of flashovers. When you install flame-retardant curtains, they are one line of defence among many a building administrator must use in communal facilities.

    Is there only one kind of flame retardant fabric?

    There are two; inherent and coated fabrics. Manufacturers make inherent fabric from yarn modified to have low flammability. With this type of cloth, the retardancy lasts the lifespan of the material, ensuring you meet legal requirements at all times. 

    Meanwhile, coated fabrics have a "topical" treatment that helps reduce their flammability. There are various FR-treated curtains available, offering different types of protection and requiring various kinds of care.

    How do you determine these fabrics' effectiveness?

    Several things affect how well your fabric resists flames. The level of occupancy, the presence of fire detection systems, fire access and other things contribute to the hazard score of an establishment. Generally, the FIRA or Furniture Industry Research Association designates restaurants, places of entertainment, and hotels as 'Medium Hazard.' Meanwhile, they consider offices, schools and museums 'Low Hazard'.

    When you know which category your establishment falls under, you can determine the British Standard or BS you must find when furnishing the rooms. Items marketed as flame-retardant would indicate their level of certification, and the temperature at which you must wash them to ensure disinfection. 

    Note that you must have a fire safety risk assessment before buying any new products for your facility. Doing so ensures that you're buying the right type of fabric from the start.

    Conclusion

    Furnishing your home is already a challenging task; doing this for a public building or facility is even more so. With buildings, there are more people you need to consider, with a more diverse set of needs than you'd encounter in one family. Careful planning and consultation with fabric suppliers will help you decorate your facilities in the best way possible.

    Direct Fabrics understands the need for stylish and functional soft furnishings. Our flame-retardant curtains are certified to British Standard, up to Part 2B and 2C. Browse our catalogue today or get in touch with us to learn more about our products.

  • How Flame Retardant Sheets Improve Building Security

    Contrary to what most hospitality managers assume, purchasing five-star sheets isn’t just about thread counts and complementary colours. Beyond aesthetics, sheets should provide comfort and, more importantly, security. Flame-retardant sheets are ideal for care homes, hostels, guest homes, and other boarding properties that prioritise guest safety. If you’re on the fence about flame-resistant products, consider how they can improve your building security. 

    What is a Flame Retardant Textile?

    Flame-retardant sheets reduce the damaging effects of a fire, limiting embers to a contained area and preventing the occurrence of a full-scale fire hazard. FR sheets function with minimal human effort and inherit their properties through chemical treatment or manufacturing of fireproof fibres. 

    Fibres such as polyester can self-extinguish when ignited. However, every product must pass stringent British Standards before market release. Accredited U.K. lab-testing facilities are responsible for testing with cigarettes, matches, and crib ignition sources to ensure manufacturer compliance. 

    How Flame Retardant Sheets Are Useful

    The most significant benefit you reap from flame-retardant sheets are in its title—you have better control of fire-related incidents. Flame-retardant sheets are also useful when: 

     

    Miscalculating the Size of a Fire

     

    Not every fire calls for a fire extinguisher. If at any point you aren’t confident in your ability to put out a fire, flame-retardant sheets can limit the spread on the premises while you contact the fire brigade. 

     

    Incorrect Extinguishing Techniques

     

    Similar to the fire extinguisher dilemma, water isn’t the end-all-be-all solution of containing a fire. For instance, using water on electrical or oil fires will only exacerbate the situation. When putting out fires with water, distinguish between wood, plastic, and paper. 

    Your flame-retardant sheets are already taking care of the majority of your efforts. Don’t cut down productivity by pouring water over a fire you can’t control. 

     

    You Have Poor Evacuation Planning

     

    If your building is well-equipped with flame-extinguishing mechanisms, they’ll hardly matter if you’re implementing a poorly-organised evacuation plan. Establish an evacuation route that all building inhabitants are aware of. These paths should be unobstructed and easy to navigate, culminating in a safe meeting point. 

     

    Leaving Power Sources On

     

    If the source of the fire is electrical, don’t immediately enlist the help of the closest extinguisher. First, shut off all power to the start of the fire—you can rest assured your flame-retardant sheets are already doing their best to contain it. 

    As a building contractor, you’ll want to know your site map like the back of your hand. The more familiar you are with where your power source comes from, the quicker you can shut them down in the event of a fire. If you come across an obstruction with no means to rapidly arrive at the source point, evacuate instead. 

    Conclusion

    The best flame-resistant bedding is up to the standards of your local fire department. FR curtains will not only contain a starting fire but also prevent them from occurring at all. 

    At Direct Fabrics, our flame-retardant curtains and sheets are suitable for nursing homes, hospitals, schools, resorts, and offices—anywhere you’d need them. BS7175 certified, our products are of the highest safety standards, unmatched by even the best competitors.

  • Hospital Curtains: How Often Do You Need to Clean Them?

    When it comes to hospital curtains, there are typically no specific requirements for their cleaning routines. However, the privacy curtains you use will need to be cleaned. Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs) are due to various pathogens that thrive on soft surfaces. These pathogens may find shelter in shades and may spread easily. The safety and comfort of patients are top priority, which means that hospital fabrics must be thoroughly cleaned to reduce the risks and spread of HAIs. 

    If you manage a medical facility, here is what you need to know about cleaning your curtains:

    When To Change and Clean Hospital Curtains

    Hospital curtains must be changed and cleaned when they are showing signs of dirt, even if the area hasn’t been used as much as others. Another reason to change and clean them is when a patient has been discharged, and you need to prepare for another patient. 

    You will also find manufacturing directions that contain information about the frequency of cleaning the shades, and it’s essential to follow them. Similarly, there are three classified HAIs that require the immediate changing of privacy curtains: 

    • Clostridium difficile (C-diff)
    • Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE)
    • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA)

    If a patient is diagnosed with any of these viruses, the curtains must be cleaned immediately. 

    How To Clean Hospital Curtains

    Most medical facilities outsource their cleaning services to an agency because it is a more practical solution. Moreover, there may be no room in a hospital to accommodate laundry services, which is why to clean privacy curtains, you can consider the following options: 

    • Get A Full-Service Program: You don’t want to burden your staff with additional cleaning tasks, which is why you need to get a company that offers a full-service program. Find a launderer that can handle deliveries and inventory management. The company must also inspect the screens every time they are laundered. 
    • Consider A Simplified Privacy Curtain System: There are companies that offer same-sized panels attached to a mesh to accommodate varying ceiling heights. This way, all cubicle curtains will be the same size, which will make their removal simpler. 

    Keep in mind that medical facilities launder their curtains at different times; some do it quarterly, while others semi-annually or annually. However, those who rent cubicles don’t need to worry about curtain laundry. 

    Regardless of how frequently you decide to clean your fabrics, what’s vital is to have a process for replacing the curtains when needed. This ensures that your medical facility remains safe and free from contagious infections.

    Conclusion

    When it comes to having your privacy curtains laundered, be sure to first evaluate the needs of your facility. Since there is regulatory freedom when it comes to this, it is up to you to decide what makes the most sense for you. All you have to do is ensure that your patients and their comfort and security are a top priority. 

    Moreover, despite the frequency of laundering, you also need to choose the right company to work with to ensure that you will have clean fabrics delivered at the right time. They need to help you with other curtain-related tasks in your facility to ease the burden off of your staff. That way, they can focus more on delivering quality healthcare for the success of your facility. 

    Aside from cleaning your curtains, consider the quality as well quality. This includes finding a reliable supplier that can provide you with proper curtain systems and perform the installations for you.

    Direct Fabrics are NHS fabric suppliers with a superior range of contract furnishings. From manufacture to installation, we offer high-quality cubicle curtains in the UK as well as made-to-measure ones to fit your facilities perfectly. Visit our store today to place your order!

  • Hybrid Curtains: What They Are and Why You Need Them

    Commercial kitchens are, by nature, incredibly prone to fire. That is because open flames are usually required to cook food, and one mistake can cause the fire to blaze out of control. With half of all fire cases caused by kitchen cooking appliances and equipment, it only makes sense that measures are placed to counter this hazard and reduce its risk. 

    While not many hotels give it a second thought, curtains can act as an excellent barrier to fire. They will not extinguish fires, but they can contain a blaze to some extent. For that reason, it is highly recommended that hotels use fire-resistant curtains and the like to maximize fire safety.  

    That being said, if you are looking for a similar type of curtain to install in your hotel, we highly recommend that you opt for hybrid curtains.

    What is a hybrid curtain, and how does it work? 

    A hybrid curtain is a type of curtain that blocks both smoke and fire. It essentially combines two other kinds of curtains, the type resistant to fire and another resistant to smoke. While having either option is good, having a hybrid curtain installed can maximize fire and smoke safety in your hotel's kitchen and premises. 

    How it works is not like the usual curtains you may be used to. Rather than having them cover a window, these curtains are installed above different spaces and tucked away. When a fire starts, these curtains drop, creating a seal to contain the fire and smoke. 

    Why should I install hybrid curtains? 

    To understand why you need hybrid curtains, let us look at the type of damage a fire can cause.

    The first kind of damage is the fire itself. As the fire keeps on going, it consumes everything in its path. While it will destroy appliances and furniture, it also damages the structural integrity of the commercial property. With a hybrid curtain installed, the fire's spread is slowed down significantly, minimizing any hotel damage. 

    The second kind of damage is the one caused by smoke. As the fire burns, smoke is spewed out, filling up the hotel. It can also cause structural damage, but it is more dangerous to you, your employees, and your guests. Smoke can cause carbon monoxide poisoning, block vision to the escape door, and more.

    All of these can be detrimental to an individual's safety. With a hybrid curtain installed, smoke will be blocked and contained as much as possible, allowing for quick evacuation without too much hindrance. 

    Where should I install hybrid curtains? 

    There are many places you can install hybrid curtains, and one of the best places are the various horizontal and vertical openings around the establishment. Such locations include the elevator doors, hallways, lobbies, and eating areas. With hybrid curtains installed in specific places, smoke and fire can be kept away from vital routes to allow quick and efficient evacuation.

    Conclusion

    While the risk of a fire in hotels is minimal, it is never zero. Accidents happen, and when they do, you will have wished you had measures against it.

    Do your hotel, your guests, and yourself a favour and install hybrid curtains throughout your premises. Not only does this give you peace of mind knowing that a fire can be contained, but it might be the difference between having everyone evacuated on time or a nightmarish situation where people are trapped and fighting for their lives.

    Are you looking to install flame retardant curtains in your hotel? Direct Fabrics is a supplier of different curtain types, including flame retardant curtains, blinds, and more! Check out what we have to offer.

  • Should Your Home Have Flame Retardant Curtains? What to Know

    One way to give a room an instant makeover is by changing the curtains in it. Changing your window coverings is a quick way to change the mood; sheer silk gives off a different ambience compared to blackout fabric.

    However, there is still the concern of curtains being highly flammable. The heat from a candle or heater is enough to set curtains on fire; cloth or fabric does not even have to be in direct contact with flames. Thus, you should take steps toward ensuring safety and install fireproof drapes. 

    How do fire-resistant curtains work?

    Fire-resistant material reduces the intensity of the fire and slows down its spread. Curtains made from this material are not 100 per cent immune to fire, but they are less likely to burn. These types of curtains are essential for places which host more than a dozen people at once.

    Regulations regarding fire retardant curtains

    Government regulations ensure that curtains in institutions are fire-resistant. In the UK, the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 requires building operators to be responsible for fire safety. This includes owners of workplaces, hotels, restaurants, schools, and health care centres. This responsibility extends to curtain selection—to aid this, they use the BS5867, which is the British standard for fire retardant curtains.

    Other European countries also have codes for classifying flame resistance in curtains. The French standard uses a scale that designates materials as M0, M1, M2, or M3. Meanwhile, Germany uses the DIN 4102, a fire test that measures flammability.

    Aside from countries, associations also have their standards. For example, the International Maritime Organization has the IMO Certification, a fire test procedure evaluating the flammability of seating fabric on commercial ships.

    Where are these curtains used?

    Schools are supposed to have curtains which pass flame tests; in particular, the sleeping accommodations for student dormitories and clinics should have these types of drapes. Care homes should likewise have flame retardant curtains in their cubicles and their guest rooms.

    Hotels, restaurants, and places which are part of the hospitality also use this type of window treatments. Outbreaks in these establishments can set a company back by millions of pounds; naturally, the management would take steps to prevent this from happening.

    Other areas covered by regulations include village halls, convention centres, commercial and government offices, and hospitals.

    Should I use these curtains at home?

    Flame resistance regulations for curtains generally do not cover homes, but it is always a good idea to be careful. Having fire retardant drapes in the bedrooms is essential, especially if you experience glaring sunlight during the warmer months. 

    Often, curtains catch fire through harsh light reflected on mirrors. If you cannot install an awning on the exterior of your window, you can use fire retardant curtains to control the intensity of the light that comes in. If you have family members who some, you should also consider this curtain.

    Conclusion

    Fireproofing establishments is a must for ensuring safety. Although government regulations mandate this type of material for hotels, care centres, schools, and other establishments, they do not provide definite guidelines for home use. However, installing these window treatments at home is an excellent choice—for peace of mind and your family's safety, it should not even be a question.

    Shop for flame retardant curtains at Direct Fabrics. We are a leading British supplier and manufacturer of BS5867, M1B1, and IMO-certified fabrics. We can also customise window treatments for establishments and homes, and we accept bulk orders. Get in touch today and see how we can help!

  • What You Need To Know About Fire Retardant Materials

    Fire retardant (FR) fabrics are useful and practical materials because they add a layer of security and protection to a person or facility. If you are planning to have this type of material for curtains, drapes, and other features in your facility, you should have basic knowledge about it first.

    One vital point that you need to remember is that no fabric is a hundred per cent fire-proof because all materials will eventually ignite and even melt at high temperatures. However, fire retardant fabrics work to slow down the spread of the fire so that the damage is less disastrous.

    In this article, we will share several other vital points that you should know about fire retardant fabrics:

    Get to Know the Common Terms

    Here are the common terms you’ll encounter when dealing with fire-retardant fabrics:

    • Inherently Flame Retardant (IFR) - these are woven fabrics that have flame-resistant fibres naturally. That means this type of textile doesn’t need to be treated with other chemicals.
    • Durable Flame Retardant (DFR) - these are fabrics that feature flame-retardant finishes. However, it needs to be retreated after a number of cleanings.
    • Non-Durable Flame Retardant (NDFR) - these are materials that take longer to ignite. When it gets in contact with liquid, it will need to be treated again.
    • Can Be Made Fire Retardant (CBFR) - these are textiles that can be treated to be DFR or NDFR.
    • Cannot Be Made Fire Retardant (CNFR) - these are textiles that can’t be treated to meet fire retardant standards and must not be for public use.

    Inherent vs. Treated

    There are two main types of fire retardant fabrics - inherently or chemically treated. Typically, an inherent fabric contains fibres that are more flame retardant while chemically treated ones are fabrics that need to be treated to become flame retardant.

    Types of Fire Retardant Treatment

    When you’re shopping for fire-retardant textiles, it’s essential to know the type of fire retardant treatment used in its manufacturing to see whether or not it will suit your needs. Here are the two types of fire retardant treatment:

    • Type B - standards for drapes and curtains used in hotels, offices, and public buildings.
    • Type C - specific materials used for hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

    Fire Retardant Fabrics

    As mentioned, no textile is naturally fire-resistant. However, some fabrics are more flame retardant than others. For example, synthetic fibres like polyesters are known to be flame retardant as they are slow to ignite. Another material is one that is made of natural fibres of silk and wool as they are difficult to ignite as well.

    Where Fire Retardant Fabrics Are Commonly Used

    Although you can use fire retardant fabrics for your home or event, they are commonly used and needed in for the following purposes:

    • Healthcare standards - safety is essential when dealing with vulnerable people. Using fire retardant fabrics add an extra layer of protection and safety in healthcare facilities and allow professionals to get their job done without worrying about other safety issues.
    • Military materials - fire retardant fabrics are often used for military clothing as they are deployed to demanding environments.
    • General safety - fire retardant fabrics are typically integrated into personal protective clothing, such as jackets, vests, and pants.

    Conclusion

    Knowing basic information about fire retardant fabrics will help you make a more sound decision when you're looking around for the right material for your needs. Indeed, this type of material will bring a sense of security and protection, which is ideal for homes and commercial situations.

    If you’re looking for FR curtains or other fire-resistant fabrics, we have got the supplies you need. With over 50 years of experience in contract furnishings, our experts will provide amazing customer experience with professional installation. Get in touch with us today and choose from a wide selection of materials!

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