After working in the care home industry for the last 2 years Direct Fabrics have noticed that it is apparent that a large proportion of UK care homes are not making every effort to have flame retardant furnishing in their centres. The owners are buying non flame retardant curtains, blinds and bedding that substantially increase the risk of fire. The question is why?
After looking into this in great detail www.direct-fabrics.co.uk has realised that the most likely reason is unawareness that there are flame retardant furnishings available and also that people think that they will be more expensive. The simple fact is that fire retardant curtains and fabrics are less expensive than the majority of fabrics on the market starting at £8 per metre and have been certified to British Standards BS5867 Part 2B & C. This means that for insurances and fire safety assessments that care home owners are doing everything in their power to reduce the risk of fire and improve the safety of their residents. The owners need to change their way of thinking from buying the cheapest product on the market to buying something that is certified and will increase the chance of survival in the event of a fire.
As a lot of residents are not able to make these decisions for themselves it falls upon the care home owners to ensure they are working to the highest standards possible and minimising the risk for fire. It is imperative that the care sector takes note and begins to purchase flame retardant curtains and blinds for the resident’s rooms and common areas. Although care homes fortunately do not have fires that often it is crucial that if it were to happen they could get there occupants out of harm’s way quickly and by having British Certified products means that they can buy the time needed in a fire to escape.
Standards required for Flame Retardant Furnishings.
BS5867 Part 2 B & 2C. – Effecting Drapery. This standards details the requirements for flame retardant curtains and blinds.
• Part 2 B means that an item can be washed 12 times and still pass the fire retardancy test.
• Part 2C relates to inherently flame retardant fabrics which can be washed up to 50 times and continue to be fire resistant.
BS7175 – For flame retardant bedding. The same match test is applied. The fabrics will need to be Polyester in order to pass as they need to be inherent for the continued washing.
In conclusion there is a significant lack of care home facility managers and directors’ taking the ignorance is bliss approach to their resident’s safety. It is recommend to speak with your local fire department to get there recommendations and apply them to the furnishings in your nursing home. Direct-Fabrics.co.uk can supply a wide range of flame retardant curtains and blinds that are certified to British Standards and made to fit care homes and make them compliant to the UK regulations for fire safety.
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