European Flame Retardant Standards
Standards Across Europe
M1 = French NFP92 503-505 M1
B1 = German DIN 4102 B1
EN 13773 = Class 1,2 or 3 European Standard Textile burning behaviour for curtains and drapes.
BS 5867 = British Standards “Fabrics for curtains and drapes.”
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What is M1 B1 Flame Retardant Standards – European FR Standards for Curtains
M1 B1 is the European flame retardant standard for contract drapery. It is used across Europe so companies are aware that a fabric and in turn the curtain made from that fabric is flame retardant and can be used safely in a commercial environment. Locations that use M1 B1 fire retardant fabrics are; Hotel, Care Homes, Schools, Hospitals and more.
Depending on which country in Europe there are slightly different standards for flame retardant fabrics. Fire retardant fabrics in France follow the M1 Standard and in Germany follow the B1. Based on this generally if a fabric passes M1 Standard it will pass B1. Although it will need to be checked that it posses the necessary certificates.
FR Standards Guide
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Composition of Fabrics – Flame Retardant Standards Europe
Understanding which fabrics pass which tests is important as you can have inherently flame retardant fabrics such as Trevira which are polyester fabrics with the flame retardant yarn so they do not need to be treated. This means they can be washed and they will keep their flame retardancy. Some fabrics that are treated will need to be retreated if they are not inherently flame retardant. Therefore a user needs to be mindful that after dry cleaning they may no longer be flame retardant.
The European flame retardant standards will be required in any commercial environment, a hotel will require M1 B1 standards in Europe and BS5867 in the UK. They are all similar tests but it is required for insurance requirements to ensure that they are certified to avoid any legal risks.
Most common locations that M1 E
Understanding Different Fabric Flame Retardancy
Non Durable Flame Retardant - NOT M1 or B1 Certified.
These fabrics are coated with a soluble flame retardant, this means that if they are wetted in anyway you should get them retreated to ensure they remain flame retardant, this is usually related to velvets and natural fibres that have
Durably Flame Retardant
Again these fabric have been chemically treated and will be suitable for washing.
Inherently flame retardant
An inherently flame retardant fabric is made from a yarn that has the flame retardancy already within the yarn like a Trevira. This means it can be washed multiple times and not loose its flame retardancy.
Flame Retardant Tests – Reference - http://www.eurocobusiness.com/resources/European%20Fire%20Standards.pdf
The fabric specimen is suspended vertically and a 20mm high flame is applied for 15 seconds to both the fabric surface and edge. Reference lines are marked on the specimen, which achieves B2 classification if the tip of the flame does not reach the reference marks within 20 seconds on any sample. 5 samples are tested with filter paper being placed below each to determine the production of flaming droplets.
DIN 4102 Parts 15/16 - Brandschacht (B1) Referred to as the "Brandschacht test", this is the main test method in Germany which measures reaction to fire and is considered the highest flammability standard in the country for upholstery fabrics. The term Brandschacht, literally "fire shaft", refers to the testing apparatus itself which consists of a square-shaped vertical housing equipped with a gas burner. Four fabric samples are held vertically in a supporting frame and subjected to flames for 10 minutes. At the same time a constant, uniform flow of air is blown into the Brandschacht from below. In evaluating the test, smoke gas temperature and the mean residual length of the sample are taken into account (residual length is the part of the specimen which has escaped burning). In order to be classified as B1, the tested fabric must show:
1. A mean residual length of not less than 150mm, with no specimen being burned away completely 2. A mean smoke gas temperature of less than 200oC