A little info about fire retardant drapery fabrics.
Both the California State Fire Marshall as well as the federal NFPA 701 standards require the use of fire-retardant or flame- resistant drapery fabrics in certain housing settings. Such situations usually involve housing which is federally subsidized such as many of the HUD facilities, senior residences, or public areas.
If you place non fire-retardant or resistant draperies in these units or public areas, you may be subject to citation, fine, or revocation of continued subsidies.
Fire-retardant drapery fabrics also have great use in other ways as well. For example, many fire-retardant fabrics provide thick, rich, elegant appearing draperies. This type of drapery tends to wear well, while providing long-term durability. Also, these fabrics often come in a greater selection of weaves, patterns, and textures than their counterparts of regular contract draperies for normal apartment use.
Even if you only purchase fire retardant fabrics only for their more pleasing appearance, you gain the added benefit of fire protection for both your tenants and your property.
However, a few words of warning are in order. First, be sure to only buy fire-retardant drapery fabrics that are inherently flame-resistant or fire-proof. This means the fiber itself will not sustain or continue to flame. For example, draperies constructed with modacrylic material would be an excellent choice. You absolutely do not want to waste money buying a drapery fabric that has been artificially treated or one subjected to a chemical in order to make it fire-retardant.
Usually, this type of treatment can easily be inadvertently lost after only one or two cleanings as it literally washes out the drapery. The result, in this case, is you could end up with a drapery that is no longer fire-retardant.
There are literally dozens upon dozens of beautiful fire-retardant drapery fabrics. Again, these can often be used simply as an alternative when a nicer or more elegant drapery is needed for your apartments. Do not limit yourself with small drapery vendors who can only offer you one or two of the same old tired look-alike choices with fire-retardant draperies.
Why limit your selection? There are washable fire-retardant draperies, insulated ones, open weaves, closed weaves, plus many, many more.
By Paul Russo