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Fire retardant curtains in a Group E occupancy.

Jgarrytt

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I oversee inspections for a number of private schools. They have been under the impression for the last 7 years that all their window curtains need to be of a fire retardant cloth and have been steadily working towards that. I was digging into the 2020 Fire code of NYS and also the 'Manual for Non-public School Facility Fire and Building Safety Inspections' and simply couldn’t find a section that requires this. I would understand that a large stage curtain would be required to be made of fire resistant cloth but this is simply the regular window curtains.
Would anyone have any input on this?
 

cda

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if you are under IFC check this section::

807.3 Combustible Decorative Materials

In other than Group I-3, curtains, draperies, fabric hangings and other similar combustible decorative materials suspended from walls or ceilings shall comply with Section 807.4 and shall not exceed 10 percent of the specific wall or ceiling area to which they are attached.

Fixed or movable walls and partitions, paneling, wall pads and crash pads applied structurally or for decoration, acoustical correction, surface insulation or other purposes shall be considered interior finish, shall comply with Section 803 and shall not be considered decorative materials or furnishings.





New York or your area may have additional requirements, outside the IFC, that govern draperies.

Have you asked other NY fire marshal's the question?

Or their owners may require it????
 

Jgarrytt

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First of all thanks for your time and input.

We are under the NYS Fire code which is basically the IFC but it has been somewhat amended, so from the NYS 2020 Fire code these sections apply:

In 807.2, It points you to 807.3 for curtains and draperies. "In Groups A, B, E, I, M and R-1 and in dormitories in Group R-2, curtains, draperies, fabric hangings and other similar combustible decorative materials suspended from walls or ceilings shall comply with Section 807.3"

807.3 says "Where required to exhibit improved fire performance. . . . ." Which to me isn't clear, "where required"?? What does that mean? It still leaves me with the question. Is it or is it not required for a group E occupancy?

The NYS school inspection manual Decorative Material and Furnishing section 15 Points you to 807.4 of the code. The problem is that 807.4 in the NYS Fire Code is for Artificial decorative vegetation so that also doesn't add up to me.

As you mentioned, It might be a good idea to get in contact with a NYS DOS official or another fire marshal.
 

cda

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First of all thanks for your time and input.

We are under the NYS Fire code which is basically the IFC but it has been somewhat amended, so from the NYS 2020 Fire code these sections apply:

In 807.2, It points you to 807.3 for curtains and draperies. "In Groups A, B, E, I, M and R-1 and in dormitories in Group R-2, curtains, draperies, fabric hangings and other similar combustible decorative materials suspended from walls or ceilings shall comply with Section 807.3"

807.3 says "Where required to exhibit improved fire performance. . . . ." Which to me isn't clear, "where required"?? What does that mean? It still leaves me with the question. Is it or is it not required for a group E occupancy?

The NYS school inspection manual Decorative Material and Furnishing section 15 Points you to 807.4 of the code. The problem is that 807.4 in the NYS Fire Code is for Artificial decorative vegetation so that also doesn't add up to me.

As you mentioned, It might be a good idea to get in contact with a NYS DOS official or another fire marshal.



Would need to see all the code section.

Do you have a link to it??
 

cda

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If you have 807.5 that is where the different occupancy types require it.
 

Jgarrytt

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Section 807.5.2 is Group E. I see no requirement in there for flame retardant curtains.
BTW did you get my Upcode link?
 

cda

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Ok forgot

807.2 Combustible Decorative Materials
In Groups A, B, E, I, M and R-1 and in dormitories in Group R-2, curtains, draperies, fabric hangings and other similar combustible decorative materials suspended from walls or ceilings shall comply with Section 807.3 and shall not exceed 10 percent of the specific wall or ceiling area to which such materials are attached.

Not a problem unless over 10 % of a wall, which unless there are a lot of curtains and small wall, should not be a problem
 

Jgarrytt

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But see exception, 807.2 ex 4, the 10% rule doesn't even apply to 807.2 requirements
So it's still not totally clear to me. . . .

Just at this point my gut reaction if it's my call as a fire marshal, I would say not required. The facility's are all fully protect by fire system, about half have sprinklers.
 

cda

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10 per cent is the governing factor,

So if not over 10 per cent,,,,,,,,,,,, No Problem

If over 10 per cent, than yes they have to be fire retardant and meet 807.4 Where Required.
 

Jgarrytt

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But Ex 4 says "The 10-percent limit shall not apply to curtains, draperies, fabric hangings and similar combustible decorative materials used as window coverings." which to me nullifies that first part of 807.2, even if the window draperies/curtains are over 10%
 

cda

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Ok your book is different than mine

4.
The 10-percent limit shall not apply to curtains, draperies, fabric hangings and similar combustible decorative materials used as window coverings.


So if I read this correctly they can hang paper bags for window coverings.
 

cda

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Still suggest you talk to a couple of fire marshal's around you, and see if they are applying it the same way.

But appears fire retardant curtains are not required.
 

Jgarrytt

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Just wondering did you find the NYS 2020 Fire code? Yes I guess by that code you can hang just about anything you want over the windows:rolleyes:

Just from what I gather from our conversation, it seem like by the book, no, but it's not very clear. Like you advised I'll get in touch with some other code officials.
 

cda

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