The Scoop on Flameproofing Temporary Structures

One of the most exciting things about running a business is hosting special events - the promotions and celebrations we put out for the public that drive business and raise enthusiasm. There are all kinds of preparation that take place for this - including the design of sets and props and scenery in order to stage the event attractively. While there are so many details to consider for a special event, on your planning list should be the item of fire safety - flameproofing, in particular. Did you know that even temporary structures need to be flameproofed? Today we will be discussing the particulars of fireproofing as it pertains to temporary scenery, decorations, and structures.

Temporary scenery is one aspect of transient structures that need to be considered. According to the FDNY, materials that are being utilized for temporary scenery should be sprayed or soaked in flame repellents if they are not inherently non-combustible. Yet, there are situations where the fire commissioner has the discretion to grant an exemption. In order for him to consider this, the following conditions need to be met: #1. A report should be submitted from a nationally-known lab indicating that the materials used for the temporary scenery were correctly fireproofed or that they were already non-combustible. A certificate from a valid flameproofing company indicating the same would also be acceptable. #2. The scenery being used for an event will be in place for less than 30 days. #3. As a business owner, you are able to demonstrate that it would cause you extreme hardship to obtain a valid affidavit showing that your items have been fireproofed or that they are inherently non-combustible.

Temporary decorations is another subset of transient structures for events. In this situation, there isn't much of a variation from the rules for temporary scenery. Rules #2 and #3 apply here also. However, for rule #1, a business owner can submit a testing report showing that the decorations have passed the NFPA (National Fire Protection Agency) 701 Test 1 (e.g. for single-layer fabrics, window treatments, drapes, curtains) for Test 2 (e.g. for tents, tarps, awnings, plastic films, and vinyl coated fabrics) instead of submitting an affidavit or lab report.

The rules pertaining to temporary structures is the last category.  Similar to the other scenarios, the fire commissioner is able to use his discretion to make a judgment call regarding flameproofing. Usually, as mentioned before, the commissioner requires an affidavit illustrating that the materials have been properly flameproofed or that the materials themselves are already inherently non-combustible.  However, in the situation for temporary structures, he could also accept a report from a nationally-recognized lab or a certificate from an established flameproofing company if all of the following items are true: #1: The certificate or report clearly indicates that the items inherently do not support combustion, they have a Class-A flame-spread rating, or they're now declared flame-resistant because they've been soaked or coated with flame repellent 25; #2 The items in use for the event will be used for 30 days or less; #3 The business owner who is applying for permit proves that it would be an unnecessary hardship to acquire the affidavit that is needed.

It's easy to get swept up in the enthusiasm of planning an event as a business owner.  However, beyond all the excitement of the celebration, public safety needs to be a high priority. Because fires are so rare, we often forget to include a plan for fire safety in our agenda.  However, even for temporary events, we need to be sure that we are properly flameproofing all temporary scenery, decorations, and structures in accordance with FDNY regulations. This will ensure the protection of your patrons and the success of your event.

At Manhattan Flameproofing, we are industry experts in flameproofing all temporary scenery, decorations, and structures. Please call us to receive a free, no-obligation estimate. We would love to help make your Manhattan event as safe as possible: 1-800-268-7993.