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Fire Proof Curtains for layouts


Penlan

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A number of exhibitions are now requesting fire proof curtains on layouts, as well as the 6" clearance to the floor.

 

Simples I thought, get a spray, but in wildest west Cornwall (Penzance), it would seem such items don't exist and even the material shops sadly shook their heads (horizontally).

 

I have found a spray, but likely to arrive to late for the purpose I want, MSL Firecheck at £14.99 + p&p for a 750ml spray.

 

I would appreciate any views on this or indeed any recommendations (apart from 'don't buy MSL...' it's in the post).

 

I have a 33' length of existing material on the layout (Ok, split into 6 pieces and using Velcro to attach them to each other and the layout boards) , thus I wasn't looking to rush and replace it. Also I don't feel like arguing with an Exhibition Manager about the necessity of fire proof materials, rules are rules, normally set by the owners of the exhibition halls, not the club running the exhibition.

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A number of exhibitions are now requesting fire proof curtains on layouts, as well as the 6" clearance to the floor.

 

 

We've just sprayed all our drapes for Blackmill for the NEC this coming weekend.

 

IMO, this seems such an archaic requirement given the fact that no-one smokes indoors anymore.

 

There's probably more risk from the solvents and other chemicals that are often within a toolbox - what's next, flame and/or explosion proof toolboxes at exhibitions.

 

Cheers,

Mick

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A number of exhibitions are now requesting fire proof curtains on layouts, as well as the 6" clearance to the floor.

 

 

 

There's probably more risk from the solvents and other chemicals that are often within a toolbox - what's next, flame and/or explosion proof toolboxes at exhibitions.

 

Cheers,

Mick

 

Hi,

 

the Drapes on my layout have always been 6" off the floor (or there abouts :unsure: ) and seeing as the layouts baseboard is wood i better fire proof that as well.

 

Mick, im with you on this one, things are getting silly. Next i will need heat proof golves to be allowed to use my soldering iron

 

cheers

Simon

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Fire proofing is also to do with the risk from the electrics - putting it in context guys, I would sooner you fireproof your drapes and complain than I was stuck in a burning building with burning cloth and plastic dripping on me :blink:

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Fire proofing is also to do with the risk from the electrics - putting it in context guys, I would sooner you fireproof your drapes and complain than I was stuck in a burning building with burning cloth and plastic dripping on me :blink:

I'm with you on this and have always fireproof the drapes, if the drapes are sprayed whilst attached to the layout the bottom edge of the baseboard will have some fire retardant properties as well.

Mike

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A number of exhibitions are now requesting fire proof curtains on layouts, as well as the 6" clearance to the floor.

 

Simples I thought, get a spray, but in wildest west Cornwall (Penzance), it would seem such items don't exist and even the material shops sadly shook their heads (horizontally).

 

 

Try looking in the yellow pages or online for theatre supplies - the fireproofing spray is used to fireproof curtains and drapes on stage. There is probably a supplier somewhere in Cornwall who supplies to the local theatres.

 

Andy B)

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Hi

When i wanted to fireproof my layout curtains i contacted the local fire service and asked where i could get the materials to do the job but they could not help me as they did not know. For members living in the North of England look on the web for a fabric outlet called ABACAN. I know that they have one outlet near Holywell on the N.Wales coast road and i got some spray from there to fireproof the curtains for both my layouts (UPSAN DOWNS and OAK RIDGE CANYON) For people in other parts of the country they may be able to post out the fireproofing spray.

Hope this helps someone :D

George

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Fire under a lyout isn't all that rare, usually caused electrically. I've ahd aa transformer cook after a short burned out a bridge rectifier which then cooked the transformer. Fortunately I smelt it in time and pulled the plug. There is another layout that I have operated at shows that shall ahve to remain anonymous that has had quite regular fires due rto overloaded 12v systems. they usually occur when there is a derailment on the main line. The fireproof curtains are no problem and certainly we ahve had no problem getting the material in local shops or market stalls. The 6" requirment relates to the height of the flame from a dropped match and goes back long before the current obsessions with elf and safety.

 

Jamie

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Try looking in the yellow pages or online for theatre supplies - the fireproofing spray is used to fireproof curtains and drapes on stage. There is probably a supplier somewhere in Cornwall who supplies to the local theatres.

 

Andy B)

You can also buy fabric ready fireproofed. For example Flints do some in both durable and non-durable fire-retardent forms (depending on whether you want to wash it or not). You'll probably be able to track down a local supplier.

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Many thanks for the help so far, another reason for posting of course is to help those who seek similar information in the future, the search facility now brings forth this information.

 

Of course if I was organised I would have done this along time ago, but with other demands on my time (even sleep seems to be making a fuss now) getting my act together is a no-go... hold on the phones ringing :angry:

 

Edit, there's a 1933 Austin 7 that's lost it's ignition in Penzance, "have I got a spare DJ4 dizzy", unfortunately, yes, so off to supply that now.....

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Try Twites of Leicster or JW Bollom for fire retardant materials. A huge range of colours and materials.

 

Hawthorn Theatrical will also sell you fire retardant spray that also works on wood and other materials. You could spray up your lighting pelmet, legs (Layout, not you own) and also the underside as well.

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The cynic in me would ask the obvious question 'how would the elf n safety (or us as an uninformed buyer) know if a black fabric drape was or was not fire proof?'

 

The second angle is how do you know if your spraying with fireproof spray has given good coverage and made the fabric fireproof?

 

The common sense part of me asks why do we need this, how many fires have happened at exhibitions, given there will be cardboard boxes, coats and such piled up under a layout, does a flame proof drape really make any difference to the overall risk profile?

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Fabrics such as Trevira are inherently flame retardant and most soft furnishing shops worth their salt will be able to point you in the right direction. These will generally be more expensive than the twill cotton that alot of layouts seem to have, but I assume you will only be buying a small amount anyway. Trevira is durable, meaning you can wash it without removing the flame retardant properties, and it complies with BS5867 part II type B which is generally ok for public buildings. If you have a curtain that requires flame proofing, you can buy sprays for the job, but please spray in a well ventilated room with a mask on. These are generally none durable, meaning the flame retardant property is removed by washing. Firms such as Textiles FR of Bradford (My only connection is through work as a customer) will provide this service, for both durable and none durable requirement although you may have to go through your retailer and their is a minimum charge of £40 at trade. Please state that the fabric is required for curtains only. Be aware that some fabrics with a high man made content such as acrylic, nylon, polyethylene, and polypropelene, may not be suitable, and there is a charge for initial testing which requires approx. 1/2 metre of cloth. You will receive a certificate that shows the fabric complies with the requirements of the test. Hope this helps.

Mike, (Soft furnishing manager)

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The cynic in me would ask the obvious question 'how would the elf n safety (or us as an uninformed buyer) know if a black fabric drape was or was not fire proof?'

 

The second angle is how do you know if your spraying with fireproof spray has given good coverage and made the fabric fireproof?

 

The common sense part of me asks why do we need this, how many fires have happened at exhibitions, given there will be cardboard boxes, coats and such piled up under a layout, does a flame proof drape really make any difference to the overall risk profile?

 

You won't be able to tell until it's too late, and yes it will lessen the overall risk profile. Is it neccessary? Your oppinion may vary with experience of fire.

This will probably be a requirement from the exhibition venue rather than the exhibition manager or club concerned, so please don't give them a hard time.

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I certianly wouldn't give anyone a hard time over this, lifes too short to fall out with a club about it and we do have a set of fire proof drapes within the RMRG group after visiting certain large shows down the years although my incredulity at the requirement remains undiminished.

 

 

 

Sorry Black and Decker Boy, although I did quote you, I didn't particularly mean yourself when asking people not to give exhibition managers a hard time. I agree, life's too short and I can certainly sympathise with both points of view on health and safety issues as it can sometimes seem that there are rules just to prevent you doing your job efficiently. Unfortutately as we all know, the rules have to cover the lowest common denominator and some people do the stupidest things. Again, that is not to impune yourself my good sir!

All the best, Mike

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The cynic in me would ask the obvious question 'how would the elf n safety (or us as an uninformed buyer) know if a black fabric drape was or was not fire proof?'

 

 

Or how an exhibition manager / venue knows the material is flame retardent/ fireproof? The practical / evil in me says I could perform some destructive testing with a cigarette lighter at our next show :D

 

But then again as its neither a requirement of the hall or ourselves I dont think I'll bother and do something useful instead ;)

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Hi All,

 

Please can someone advise where the fire proofing has come from? Are insurance companies demanding it of exhibition managers? as we were not asked when organising insurance for our recent event, Or is it the result of a risk assessment undertaken by a competent individual. As a chartered health and safety consultant and I have to agree with other comments on boxes, coats, etc stored under the layouts. Also the fact that your layouts contain a large amount of flammable and easily combustable, plastic, polystyrene, plywood, paper and cardboard. I would suggest that if it was a risk assessment it has been very short sighted. You would have to go a lot further than fire proofing your curtains around the bottom of your layout I'm affraid!

 

Also I remember the other thread recently on electrical inspection and safety with this in mind and the fact that this is your likely ignition source, the mitigation is to form protection between the power source and anything combustable and or by ensuring the unit is inspected and safe for use. Is the action of fire proofing the result of a recent incident at an event? Can anyone advise further?

 

Cheers

 

Regards

 

Paul

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Hi All,

 

Please can someone advise where the fire proofing has come from? Are insurance companies demanding it of exhibition managers? as we were not asked when organising insurance for our recent event, Or is it the result of a risk assessment undertaken by a competent individual. As a chartered health and safety consultant and I have to agree with other comments on boxes, coats, etc stored under the layouts. Also the fact that your layouts contain a large amount of flammable and easily combustable, plastic, polystyrene, plywood, paper and cardboard. I would suggest that if it was a risk assessment it has been very short sighted. You would have to go a lot further than fire proofing your curtains around the bottom of your layout I'm affraid!

 

Also I remember the other thread recently on electrical inspection and safety with this in mind and the fact that this is your likely ignition source, the mitigation is to form protection between the power source and anything combustable and or by ensuring the unit is inspected and safe for use. Is the action of fire proofing the result of a recent incident at an event? Can anyone advise further?

 

Cheers

 

Regards

 

Paul

Hi Paul. This does seem to be a real grey area as no-one seems to have a definitive answer. All curtains installed in a public building must be flame resistant to BS5867 pt 2 type b, but layout curtains are not permanently installed, so I'm not sure what the requirement is. I assume it will be at the discretion of the exhibition venue or insurers. All our electrical equipment is PAT tested and we use RCDs as well as a flame proofed curtain. Better safe than sorry and it then becomes a none issue for us.

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