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.
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!