If you are having blinds or curtains installed at your school, college or workplace this summer, the following pictures are a timely reminder to make sure they are fire retardant to BS5867.
Our surveyor took these pictures last week at a private boarding school in Berkshire. The school provides sleeping accommodation for up to 1000 students, and these curtains provide room darkening in student bedrooms.
The yellow curtain was burnt by sunlight reflecting off a small mirror which a student had left on the window sill. The pink curtain had been tucked up out of the way on top of a wall light (probably to get maximum breezes through the window on a warm evening)
Had these fabrics not be fire retardant, these curtains would have ignited and the student accommodation blocks could very quickly have turned into a burning inferno, the consequences do not bear thinking about.
With fire safety laws in public buildings under the spotlight in recent months, these pictures serve as a poignant reminder that accidents do happen, and why laws relating to fire safety in public buildings exist.
Any window blinds or curtains installed in public buildings, including schools, colleges and universities MUST be manufactured using fabrics with fire retardant properties that comply to BS5867.
As previously mentioned, any reputable supplier serving the commercial and public sector will probably be as rigid as us on this issue. There is a greater risk of unknowingly purchasing non-fire retardant blinds and curtains from on-line stores and shops which service the domestic market, where such laws do not apply.