Flame Retardant Materials

Flame Retardant Fabrics and Chemicals Program

In California, the Office of the State Fire Marshal staff issue certificates of registration for approved flame retardant chemicals, for those individuals and companies that apply flame retardant chemicals, for nonflammable materials, and for fabrics that have been treated with flame retardant chemicals. All approved and registered flame-retardant chemicals; nonflammable materials and treated fabrics are first subjected to laboratory testing and must satisfactorily demonstrate their flame-retardant capabilities. The SFM has the authority in drinking and dining establishments, places of public assembly and schools, to require decorative materials and fabrics (curtains, drapes, drops, hangings and tents, awnings or other fabric enclosures) be made from a nonflammable material, or treated with approved flame retardant chemicals. That authority has expanded over the years to include other decorative materials such as artificial plants, Christmas trees, and trade show display equipment.

Other SFM laws and regulations address the fire retardant qualities of fabrics for children's sleep-ware and sheets and pillowcases used in health care facilities. Many countries such as France, England and Germany have adopted programs similar to the Office of the State Fire Marshal's program.

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