DOES YOUR WALLCOVERING MEET THE FIRE-PROOF STANDARDS?

With so many beautiful fabrics out there, it’s not surprising that using fabrics as wallcoverings is an ever-popular choice. 

 Image courtesy of  Finite Solutions .

Image courtesy of Finite Solutions.

But did you know that using fabrics as walling on larger projects could require you to meet commercial-grade fire standards?

In fact, if the total surface area to be covered is greater than 60 sq/ft, you must factor in fire-proofing to the calculations on cost and delivery times of your fabric purchase. 

Perhaps most importantly to client relations, it would be diligent get a sample of the fabric tested by your appointed fire-proofing company before you get the sample signed-off by the client, as you want to ensure the client is signing off the post-treatment fabric, not original fabric, just in case there is any minor difference. 

And finally, it’s of course worth noting that you do take on extra risk when you use a product for a purpose it’s not strictly designed for, and especially if you have to treat the product through a third-party.

Here are a few pieces of important information we learned during a recent project that involved fire-proofing a beautiful suede to be used in a basement cinema room:

1.    All walling fabrics in a non-domestic setting are required to meet fire standards. The standard required depends upon the area that is to be used. Living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms etc. require the lower ‘BS476: Part 7: Class 1’ fire standard. Areas such as corridors, lifts, stairways, or any room within an attic or basement area, would require the higher ‘BS476: Part 6: Class 0’ standard. The higher standard being required for any area that is considered an escape route, or rooms that would take a longer time to escape from, in the event of a fire.

2.    Domestic walling fabrics are only required to meet fire standards if the total amount of surface area is greater than 60 sq/ft. If this is the case, the above rules for the different standards also apply.

3.    Fire-proofing services take approximately 8-10 working days (express is 6 working days).

4.    Fire-proofing adds approximately £5-£8 per metre to the purchase cost of the fabric.

If you need any advice about meeting fire safety standards on one of your projects, then we’d recommend contacting the friendly team at Fabric Flare, who we found very helpful to work with.
 

Alexander Baxter