Care Home Requirements for Flame Retardant Standards

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.

Per DCLG (department for communities and local government) fire risk assessment guides, curtains and drapes should be compliant to - BS 5867-2: Specification for fabrics for curtains and drapes. Flammability requirements. British Standards Institution – Page 55 of the guide below.


After working in the care home industry for the last 2 years Direct Fabrics have noticed that it is apparent that a large proportion of UK care homes are not aware of the benefits of flame retardant furnishing in their centres. The owners are buying non flame retardant curtains, blinds and bedding that substantially increase the risk of fire. The question is why?

After looking into this in great detail has realised that the most likely reason is unawareness that there are flame retardant furnishings are available and also that people think that they will be more expensive. The simple fact is that fire retardant curtains and fabrics are less expensive than the majority of fabrics on the market starting at £7 per metre and have been certified to British Standards BS5867 Part 2B & C. This means that for insurances and fire safety assessments that care home owners are doing everything in their power to reduce the risk of fire and improve the safety of their residents.

A simple change to flame retardant British Certified products will reduce fire risk in the home and also as the majority of the products are made locally they are supporting the local economy.

The fabrics come in a huge array of colours and options with the ability to have matching bedding, curtains and chair coverings means that rooms can be coordinated to have the very best effect. With over 2500 fabrics to choose from Direct Fabrics is a great place to start your search. Care home owners are encourage tospeak with their team to ensure they are getting the right furnishings. Below is a small brief introduction to fire resistant standards.

Standards required for Flame Retardant Furnishings.

BS5867 Part 2 B & 2C. – Effecting Drapery. This standards details the requirements for flame retardant curtains and blinds.

  • Part 2 B means that an item can be washed 12 times and still pass the fire retardancy test.
  • Part 2C relates to inherently flame retardant fabrics which can be washed up to 50 times and continue to be fire resistant.

BS7175 – Effecting Bedding. The same match test is applied. The fabrics will need to be Polyester in order to pass as they need to be inherent for the continued washing.

BS5852 - Upholstery fabrics – Crib and match test used to ensure they will not burn with a cigarette and a match against them.

In conclusion there is a significant lack of care home facility managers and directors’ taking the ignorance is bliss approach to their resident’s safety. It is recommend to speak with your local fire department to get there recommendations and apply them to the furnishings in your nursing home. can supply a wide range of flame retardant curtains and blinds that are certified to British Standards and made to fit care homes and make them compliant to the UK regulations for fire safety.

About Direct Fabrics
Direct Fabrics are a UK manufacturer and supplier of flame retardant curtains, blinds, fabrics and soft furnishings. Providing a full service for their client from window check measures to manufacture and installation.

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