Rapid Flame Spread
Curtains, drapes and vertically suspended materials are more susceptible to flame spread than similar products in a horizontal plane. Fire has a propensity to spread more quickly when the ‘host’ is vertical and surrounded with oxygen.
Smoke & Toxic Fumes
Statistical evidence shows that over half the fatalities in reported fires are due to smoke and toxic gas inhalation. Even organic materials emit highly toxic carbon monoxide during combustion.
The Duraflam® System has been developed to cause cellulose to char and, in so doing, to provide a flame and heat barrier. Additional binders in the retardant mix enables the system to be similarly effective with synthetic blends. The mechanism of providing an additive to a fibre which assists the material to char, rather than burn, results in a lower concentration of flammable volatiles – reducing flammability as well as the emission of smoke and toxic fumes.
In the UK, curtains and drapes should comply with the requirements of BS 5867: Part 2: Type B, and Type C for high risk premises such as hospitals, nursing homes and basements, where the means of escape may be restricted.
All vertically orientated materials, treated for flame retardancy to meet the requirements of medium hazard specifications, should be subjected to an appropriate washing/dry cleaning procedure in accordance with BS 5651, and conditioned, before ignitability testing. Similarly, all treated materials intended for vertical orientation in high risk areas, should comply with the full hospital laundry procedure specified in BS 5651, prior to conditioning and testing.