How to fireproof canvas tents

Updated February 21, 2017

A spark from a camp fire can set old-style canvas tents ablaze. Fireproofing a canvas tent involves spraying the material with a chemical that bonds to the fabric. If ignited, the chemical reacts by extinguishing the flames. Ensure you choose a suitable type of fire-retardant chemical that is compatible with waterproofed and canvas fabric. Otherwise, the fireproofing will be ineffective.

Wash your canvas tent with warm, soapy water. Remove all excess debris so that it is clean. Fireproofing the tent when it is crusty with mud or cobwebs will reduce the effectiveness of the fire-retardant spray. Leave the tent to dry.

Buy a fire-retardant spray from a camping shop or online supplier. Before buying the spray, check that the product complies with UK fire safety regulations. This verifies that the product meets safety guidelines.

Read the information on the bottle to make sure that the product is suitable for a canvas tent. If you are unsure, look on the retailer's website, ask advice from a sales assistant at the shop or call the manufacturer.

Lay out the tent flat on the ground outdoors. Do this away from small children or pets as a safety precaution to prevent them from coming into contact with the spray or inhaling the fumes.

Apply the fireproofing spray to the tent by following the manufacturer's guidelines.

Leave the spray to absorb into the material for the recommended amount of time. This varies depending on the product. However, usually the tent will need to be left for 24 hours while the product cures.


Wear safety goggles and gloves while using chemical sprays.

Things You'll Need

  • Warm, soapy water
  • Fire retardant spray
bibliography-icon icon for annotation tool Cite this Article

About the Author

Based in Bristol, Philippa Jones has been a music journalist and script writer since 2007, working across a range of radio programs in the U.K. and Australia. Her articles have appeared in "Impact Magazine," "The Mic" and in local newspapers. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in politics from the University of Nottingham.