How do I Choose the Best Flame Retardant Curtains?

Sherry Holetzky

Flame retardant curtains are just one of the many flame retardant products available. The type and longevity of the flame-resistant properties are important items to consider when choosing the best curtains. Some fabrics are treated after construction to withstand heat and flame, while others are made of fabrics that have protective chemicals within the fibers. The former may require continued treatment while the latter should retain their protective properties.

Some curtains are treated to with flame retardant chemicals.
Some curtains are treated to with flame retardant chemicals.

Consider the pros and cons of fire retardant curtains. Since fire safety, especially in our homes, is of utmost importance, choosing curtains that can help keep loved ones safe is a good thing. Flame resistant fabrics are also wise choices for commercial and industrial settings, especially close to exits and escape routes.

Curtains labeled IFR are flame retardant without treatment.
Curtains labeled IFR are flame retardant without treatment.

There is some controversy over whether or not the chemicals used in flame retardant curtains and other safety products are healthy. There are questions concerning environmental friendliness as well. From the dyes used to create the colors to the chemicals used to make curtains flame resistant, there are several issues to consider. For a more eco-friendly choice, you might want to consider organic fibers such as organic wool, which is naturally fire-resistant.

When choosing flame retardant curtains you may also want to examine the different classifications for flame resistant fabrics. FR, which stands for flame retardant, means that the fabric has been treated. This is generally done by dipping the fabric in a solution or applying a spray to evenly coat the fabric with retardant. If the fabric then becomes wet or needs to be washed, it will lose its protective properties and will need to be retreated. Chemicals are available for purchase if you need to re-treat your flame retardant curtains.

IFR, which stands for inherently flame retardant, meaning that the fabric is fundamentally flame retardant without being dipped or sprayed. The fibers from which the fabric are made have flame resistant properties. This type is meant to uphold its flame resistance even once it’s become wet or been laundered.

Laboratory tests are done are for such products by different agencies. Fire safety regulations and requirements vary by area. You should be able to find more information by checking local fire safety regulations. Your local fire department may be a good source of information, but make sure you call a non-emergency number or use email when attempting to contact the department. You may also contact an agency such as the National Fire Protection Association to learn more about particular standards when it comes to flame retardant curtains.

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