Health and safety at events — Requirements
9.16 Fire retardancy of curtains, drapes and other decorative elements
NOTE See SANS 1423 (all parts).
9.16.1. Fabric structures, drapes, linings, upholstery, table-cloths and other
decorative elements; shall either be inherently non-flammable or flame retarded to comply with SANS 1423 and shall form part of the fire risk assessment.
- Inherently flame retarded fabric, local or imported, shall be accompanied by a certificate of performance from an accredited international test laboratory certifying than it performs to SANS 1423 or the international equivalent.
- Inherently flame retarded fabric not clearly identifiable as the fabric referred to in the test report or if there is a question as to the flame retardant performance, the organizer shall have the fabric tested by Fabric and Fibre Protection Association of South Africa (FFPASA) or SANS
- Fabric not flame retarded that is to be treated with an approved flame retardant. The application shall be carried out by FFPASA (Fabric and Fibre Protection Association of South Africa) trained & certified applicators.
All exhibitor’s décor elements shall be treated with a flame retardant, tested and certified to comply with SANS 1423 by FFPASA (Fabric and Fibre Protection Association of South Africa) or SANS.
- Flame retardant certification shall be the performance of the applied flame retardant application on a specific fabric for an event.
The certificate shall state:
- The standard against which the fabric is tested e.g. SANS 1423 Part 2 Draping
- The test method used to test the fabric sample e.g. NFPA 705
- Venue info:
- Hall / Stand no.
- Full street address
- Event Name
- Client (Display builder)
- Validity Period
- Cell No.
- On-site Contact/cel no.
9.16.4. Certification Validity
The limited resistance of flame retardant treatments to a water clean combined with the effect of air-conditioning and atmospheric & other pollutants, which deposit dust and soils on the fabric, abrasion due to constant handling and adverse storage conditions all compromise the efficacy and erode the level of the flame retardant application. All these factors mandate that flame retardant certification:
- Shall be valid for the specific event only!
- Shall be re-tested and re-certified for each subsequent event!
- Should it fail the re-certification test, the fabric shall be cleaned and/or a re-application of the flame retardant shall be carried out to comply with SANS 1423.
9.16.5. Product Safety & Environmental Considerations
In line with relevant national legislation requirements in conjunction with environmental considerations with respect to persistent, bio-accumulative and toxic chemicals; Brominated/halogenated or Antimony based flame retardants and their components shall not be used at events. All Flame Retardant Products to be used at events to be entered in a register to be held by Fabric and Fibre Protection Association of South Africa (FFPASA) Required; 500ml sample for testing, Product Technical Data Sheet & Material Safety Data Sheet.
The use of curtains, drapes and temporary decorations can affect the safe use of
the emergency exits. The local authority shall be notified in writing of any proposal to use combustible decorative materials. This notification shall be accompanied by full details and shall include samples of the proposed material.
Curtains across exit doors present an additional problem and shall be arranged so as not to trail on the floor. They shall open from the centre and shall only be permitted where stewards are present nearby to open curtains in the event of an emergency.
16.7. Artificial and dried foliage
All artificial flowers, hay-bales and dried foliage shall be treated with flame retardant.
N.B! All artificial and dried foliage used for decorative purposes in public areas shall be flame retardant and shall form part of the fire risk
As it is difficult to totally inhibit the production of flaming molten droplets or debris from the solid plastic parts of artificial foliage such as branches and stems, the local authority might limit the amount of material used and prohibit use in some locations.
Dried flowers and grasses shall not be sprayed with hair lacquer or similar substances, as such treatment will make them ignite easily and burn more quickly.
9.16.8. Built wooden structures
Built wooden structures, constructed from lumber, plywood, OSB, (oriented strand board), MDF (medium density fibre board), particle board, drywall, I-Joist, metal framing studs and similar materials shall be treated with a flame retardant shall comply with SANS 10177 8 / 10
9.16.9. Thatched structures
All thatched structures shall be constructed in accordance with the CSIR’s guide to ‘Good Thatching Practice.’ And shall be treated with an approved flame retardant product as has been tested to meet:
- DIN 4102, Part 7 (Germany) Small-scale evaluation (fire only)
- ASTM E108 (USA) Large-scale evaluation (fire only).
FABRIC & FIBRE PROTECTION ASSOCIATION OF S.A.