Curtains aren’t typically regarded as dangerous, but when it comes to fire safety, they can be. Their length puts them in the way of heat sources on the ground like fireplaces and space heaters. Thousands of fires occur each year, resulting in millions of dollars of damages and thousands of fatalities and injuries. And even if curtains aren’t the source of the fire, they provide many yards of flammable material to add to the inferno. Fireproofing curtains is an important and easy preventive measure to take.
Use fire-retardant material. This material is heat-resistant and designed to burn slowly, which reduces the risk of starting and spreading fires. In some areas, fire code regulations stipulate the use of fire-retardant material. As an added safety measure, curtains and rugs in hotels and restaurants are made from fireproof fabrics; they can be used in the home as well. Curtains made from fire-retardant material are available in an endless array of colours, sizes, styles and fabrics. Or you can purchase fire-retardant material from textile manufacturers and sew your own curtains. How-to kits are readily available at sewing stores and hobby shops.
Have your curtains fireproofed. If you like the curtains you already have in your home, there’s no need to replace them. You can have them chemically treated to withstand fires. The chemicals used in fire retardants work in a number of ways: creating a protective layer around the material, producing chemical reactions that reduce heat and forming water while burning. Check online or in the phone book for fireproofing companies. They treat not only your curtains but also other decorative materials: fabrics, artificial plants and wall hangings. The material is either soaked in or sprayed with fire retardant solution; then a fabric test is conducted to ensure the process was done efficiently.
Fireproof your own curtains. This option is less expensive than the professional service, and the process is rather simple. You can go online or to home improvement stores and purchase fire retardant sprays and solutions with which to treat your fabrics. Be sure to follow the directions carefully in order to avoid causing any damage. And check the label or with a store associate to make sure that the chemicals are safe for the fabric you are planning to treat. But even after fireproofing, remember to keep curtains and drapes away from lamps, outlets, candles, hobs and the like. Fireproofed material is not completely fire resistant; it's just less likely to catch on fire.
Things you need
- Fire-retardant material
- Fireproofing sprays/solutions