Flame Retardant Linen: What You Need to Know

In this day and age there are numerous rules and regulations regarding fire health and safety, and rightly so. Hotels of course need to comply with health and safety regulations and from smoke alarms to fire doors, there is much out there in terms of rules that have to be met.

One of the most important options many hotels owners are choosing in the fight for fire safety is flame retardant linen. This linen has qualities that mean it is able to repel flames and so reduces the spread of the fire.

These linens have self-extinguishing characteristics that prevent a fire from spreading quickly should it catch alight. Self-extinguishing materials do not extinguish flames completely, but they do repel flames and make the flame spread more slowly. This means that should the linen on one of your hotel beds catch fire, the spread of the flames will be limited, allowing quick action to be taken in order to put the fire out.

These fabrics, known as FR fabrics come in a variety of standards. In Britain, there are BS standards which are used to identify the intended use of the fabric and the type of flame it repels.

Washing:
Some FR materials are given a coating, whereas some materials are inherently fire retardant due to the fibre they are made of. Those that are given a coating may lose their fire repelling qualities over time as they are washed more often. Check with the manufacturer how long the fire repelling qualities are expected to last. However, with materials that are inherently flame retardant, there are no issues with washing FR materials and they can be treated the exact same way as any other form of material. This means there is no extra cost for the maintenance involved if you wish to purchase this sort of FR linen.

Tests:
Of course, there’s science behind this and all FR fabrics are tried and tested in laboratories across the world to ensure that they meet the necessary standards that are required. BS standards are what linen manufacturers must adhere to in the UK, however there are other standards around the world.

The laboratories involved in this testing really push the boundaries and perform a number of high-end tests on the materials. From burning the materials at different degrees, to taking readings and performing a number of other tests on the linen, the quality is assured. Once the readings are inside a certain tolerance they are then passed for use.

The tests are all performed by independent houses to ensure the standards are level and that there is no room for bias. This ensures that the flame retardant performance is assured and that the linen meets the desired standard.

FR materials for hotels:
So when sourcing linen for your hotel or B&B do take the time to consider buying FR linen. This sort of linen comes in all sorts of colours, and it is very affordable.