What Actually Happens When Flameproofing Take Place

We all know what it's like to watch the news and get that sinking feeling when we see a devastating fire occur. It's a natural first question to wonder if anything could have been done to prevent it. Thankfully, there are many fires we never see on the news because fire safety preventative measures actually were taken. Flameproofing is one of those preventative steps that doesn't always get a lot of attention because it's actually doing its job - stopping fires from occurring in the first place. Business owners in the NYC area are required to have the decorative items on their property flameproofed, but many have questions about the process. Flameproofing is a fairly straightforward process, but there are particular guidelines that must be followed in order to meet the FDNY's approval. Today's article will answer many of those questions about the particulars of flameproofing.

So, first, which items are required to be flameproofed? According to FDNY code, items used for artistic enhancement (decorations, hangings, curtains, drapes, scenery, etc.) must be treated with fire retardants if they themselves are not inherently flame-resistant. Scenery and decorations must receive fire retardant spray before they are installed in a facility. If any of those items are compromised in any way - from dry cleaning, washing, ironing or sewing, for example - those items must be flameproofed again. Items also must be flameproofed within the time frame spelled out by the manufacturer of the flameproofing chemicals. However, if that time frame is more than 3 years, the FDNY states that those items must be treated once every 3 years as a minimum requirement. Finally, all items must be field-flame-tested, and if any item fails, it must be treated again.

As for the methods used to flameproof, the FDNY does not require any particular method.  How flameproofing is performed will depend on the size of the job, the individual who is doing the flameproofing, and the item that is being flameproofed. The one common denominator is that all items eligible for treatment must either be coated or soaked in fire retardants. When the soaking method is used, the items are saturated with the flame repellent chemicals, which causes the treatment to soak into the very deepest fibers of the material. When the coating method is used, the items are sprayed or brushed with flame repellent chemicals. The FDNY considers the soaking method more effective.

The FDNY allows for different flameproofing chemicals to be used for treatments as well. Water-soluble chemicals are the treatment of choice because they cost the least and work the best. The downside of water-soluble treatments is that they lose some of their power to protect when they come into contact with water because of harsh weather condition or washing. There are other treatment chemicals that lose some of their effectiveness when they are dry-cleaned. Some flameproofing treatments may discolor or hurt the items while others are only effective for a limited time period. Yet, every fire retardant that is used for flameproofing treatments must be approved by the FDNY and have a Certificate of Approval. As a business owner, it can be difficult to know which chemicals should be used, but a conversation with a specialized flameproofing outfit can guide you in the right direction for your needs.

No matter how items are flameproofed or what is used to flameproof them, the entire flameproofing process must be overseen by a C-15 Certificate of Fitness holder. (Like us.)

The process of flameproofing is not complex, and it is something that can be performed fairly easily and quickly.  However, the far-reaching, life-saving effects of flameproofing cannot be measured. This vital step in fire safety and prevention often makes it the invisible hero of many would-be tragedies. If your business is need of flameproofing, Manhattan Flameproofing has been serving the Metro NYC area for over 50 years.  Please call us today to receive your free, no-obligation estimate: 1-800-268-7993.