Frequently Asked Questions
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In the contract market does the ‘Low Hazard’ category test regime match the domestic requirement?
Contract low hazard seating furniture must comply with the requirements from BS 7176. This means the finished upholstery composite passes BS EN 1021-1 & BS EN 1021-2 and the filling materials separately pass the relevant schedule from the Furniture & Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations. Although BS EN 1021-1 and Schedule 4 part 1 are both cigarette tests and BS EN 1021-2 and Schedule 5 part 1 are both match tests, there are enough differences between them to mean they are not completely interchangeable. The biggest differences are that for Schedule 5 part 1, (Match Test) two match flame applications are applied for 20 seconds each and the test is performed using a non-fire retardant foam: but for BS EN 1021-2 it is three match flame applications which are applied for 15 seconds each. The filling used should be fire retardant and compliant with the Furniture & Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations.
Because of the differences in the test procedures it is deemed that the domestic cigarette and match is a more severe test than the commercial cigarette and match.
Therefore, low hazard furniture cannot be said to be compliant with the domestic regulations. However, because the domestic cigarette and match is deemed to be more severe BS 7176 does state that an item of seating that already meets the Furniture & Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations will already be deemed to meet the requirements of BS 7176: 2007: Low Hazard.
What’s the minimum amount of meterage we can send in?
We can treat as little as a meter.
Do you have a minimum charge for your treatments?
Yes, anything from 1-10m will have a set price charge of £35.00 plus vat. Lengths over 10m will be priced per meter.
Can you treat Vinyl?
No, due the process here we are unable to treat this fabric type, but our sister company Essex Flameproofing can treat this fabric type.
Do you have to allow for shrinkage when processing fabrics?
Yes, you should allow for 2% shrinkage when sending in fabrics for treatment.
Are there certain fabric types to avoid when processing fabrics?
Yes, we would have a problem processing and working with Polypropylene, Acetate, and Trevira.
Some upholstery fabrics are quoted as containing approximately 75% natural fibres. Without a definite percentage can I still use a Schedule 3 interliner to remain compliant with FR regs?
The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations (FFFSR) are very specific concerning this and require the cover to be at least 75% by weight of cotton, flax, viscose, modal, silk or wool, used separately or together to be able to benefit from a Schedule 3 interliner. However, if the value is approximately 75% there is the risk that the exact percentage may be below 75% and therefore the fabric would have to comply with Schedule 5 part I of the FFFSR to be legally compliant. As the FFFSR are legislation, you would need to have exact percentages for the fibre composition to ensure a Schedule 3 interliner can be used. This is especially important when the natural fibre content is around the 75% mark. If you need to find out the exact fibre content there are tests available for this.
What is considered to be the lowest Martindale rub test for fabric to be suitable for domestic general use?
In accordance with BS 2543, the minimum number of rub cycles for a Martindale test for general domestic fabrics is dependent on the actual fabric in question; for figured woven fabric the minimum for general domestic is 15,000 rub cycles and for all other fabrics the minimum is 20,000 rub cycles. For other classifications the minimum is as follows; light domestic 12,000 for figured, 15,000 for others, heavy domestic 20,000 for figured, 25,000 for others, general contract 25,000 for cut and uncut pile, flocked and non-woven pile fabrics, 30,000 for others and for severe contract 30,000 for cut and uncut pile, flocked and non-woven pile fabrics, 40,000 for others.
When can fabric that is 100% polyester be regarded as inherently FR? Is there only a special type of polyester that this applies to?
A fabric is deemed to be inherently fire retardant (FR) when it is FR without an additional FR treatment being added after production of the fabric. In the case of an inherently FR polyester the fire retardants are added during the manufacturing process of the polyester so it is part of the actual structure of the fabric. However, inherently FR polyester fabrics tend to perform badly when tested as a cover fabric to Schedule 5 part I, as although the fabric does not burn, it does melt open during the test, allowing the flame to reach the specified non-FR foam used for this test. Because of this, inherently FR polyesters generally require a FR back coating to be added to them if they are to pass Schedule 5 part I.