UK & European Fire Treatment For Interior Fabrics

Without exception, no fabric company can self-certify the fire retardancy of their fabrics. That can only be undertaken by a UKAS Accredited Test Laboratory. The following is KOTHEA’s summary of Textiles FR’s document “The Flame Retardancy Of Textiles” and, for detailed advice on the exact current legislative requirements, the reader should consult Textiles FR on 01274 651230.

1. Domestic

a. Curtains – No treatment is required.
b. Upholstery – The fabric must be treated to reach the match test (BS5852: Part1: 1979: Source 1).
The designer must first check the fabric passes the cigarette test (BS5852: Part1: 1979: Source 0).

The cigarette test meets the equivalent European standard BS EN 1021-1.
The match test meets the equivalent European standard BS EN 1021-2.
Fabrics containing 75% mixed-natural or natural fibre content do not usually require treating as they normally pass ‘the cigarette test’. You must use a Schedule 3 interliner (fire retardant to CRiB 5) though.

2. Contract

a. Curtains – The fabric must be treated to BS5867: Part 2: Type B.
Some fabrics meet this standard naturally, most do not. Some fabrics cannot be treated for this standard.
b. Upholstery – The fabric must be treated to BS5852: 1990: Source 5 (CRiB 5).
This involves the fabric being back coated and most fabrics can be treated in this way.

BS7176 covers BS5852: 1990. And BS5852: 1990 covers BS5852: Part 1: 1979 and BS 5852: Part 2: 1982. So the info above in 2b is correct. This treatment meets European standards.

3. Other Uses
Headboards, bed covers, wall coverings, yachting and aviation may have differing requirements.

There is a broad equivalence of British and European standards. However, the standards for the USA are different from Europe.

4 Replies to “UK & European Fire Treatment For Interior Fabrics”

  1. I am a curtain maker and have been asked to supply curtains for a university hall of residence but the contact said she did not wish to have FR treated fabric for the curtains just an FR treated lining. Is this ok or do I need to specify the FR treatment It is all so confusing and I dont seem to be able to find any info on google at all.

    1. You need to do what the regulations and what the fire officer says.

      If your client wants you to do something else then you should get something in writing to absolve you of responsibility.

      Talk to Textiles FR in Bradford or TEK Treatment in Bedford or Essex Flameproofing. They are the experts.

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