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Fire retardant curtains in a Group E occupancy.

ADAguy

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Sun exposure will deteriorate the materials over time, at a minimum fire sprinklers should be required to offset this as a best practice.
 

Jgarrytt

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Feb 20, 2021
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New Paltz NY
That may be true but as a Fire Marshal I can't require a school district to put in fire retardant curtains if there's no clear code requirement for it especially if it would require a 6 figure sum. I'm currently working with the NYS DOS to try to find some clarity on it.
 

cda

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That may be true but as a Fire Marshal I can't require a school district to put in fire retardant curtains if there's no clear code requirement for it especially if it would require a 6 figure sum. I'm currently working with the NYS DOS to try to find some clarity on it.

Good answer

If not in the book do not pull, because I said do section!!
 

VillageInspector

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Feb 9, 2010
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Dutchess County, New York, United States
I am in NYS and not far from the original posters location and have read 807.2 as well as exception 4. If you read 807.2 verbatim it pertains specifically to wall coverings whereas exception 4 addresses window coverings. At the end of the day it, like everything else in NYS, is as clear as mud but in my opinion exception 4 exempts the situation described by the original poster.
 

Jgarrytt

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Feb 20, 2021
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New Paltz NY
So here is the NYS DOS reply to my inquiry. It's complicated and not that clear in the code book but once explained it makes sense. The fact that the School inspection manual was out of date didn't help. Basically Fire retardant curtains are required.

Have the code references in the NYS School Inspection Manual been updated for the 2020 Codes? It is probably referencing the equivalent of Section 807.3 in the current edition of the Fire Code of NYS.

This is what Section 807.4 of the 2015 Fire Code of NYS says:

807.4 Acceptance criteria and reports. Where required to exhibit improved fire performance, curtains, draperies, fabric hangings and other similar combustible decorative materials suspended from walls or ceilings shall be tested by an approved agency and meet the flame propagation performance criteria of Test Method 1 or Test Method 2, as appropriate, of NFPA 701 or exhibit a maximum rate of heat release of 100 kW when tested in accordance with NFPA 289, using the 20 kW ignition source. Reports of test results shall be prepared in accordance with the test method used and furnished to the fire code official upon request.



Anyway, Section 807.2 of the 2020 Fire Code of NYS (FCNYS) says “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”. In other words, that is saying where ”curtains, draperies, fabric hangings and other similar combustible decorative materials suspended from walls or ceilings” are “required to exhibit improved fire performance”. So, Section 807.2 of the FCNYS says “where” those things must comply with Section 807.3 of the FCNYS.



Exception #4 in Section 807.2 of the FCNYS doesn’t negate the requirement to comply with that section. It simply says that Section 807.2’s limit of 10% of wall area for attaching “combustible decorative materials” doesn’t apply to “apply to curtains, draperies, fabric hangings and similar combustible decorative materials used as window coverings”. So, entire walls can be covered by curtains that comply with Section 807.3 of the FCNYS. Your impression over the last 7 years about how the code requires curtains to be of a fire retardant cloth is still correct.
 

Jgarrytt

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Feb 20, 2021
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New Paltz NY
So by the NYS DOS they are required. Always fire retardant but windows curtains can be more than 10% of a wall.

This is a private school and they've always had window curtains, probably trying to make the school less institutional looking. I'm not totally sure.
 
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