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NFPA 701
What is the NFPA 701 Test?

Fabrics used in most public spaces (including schools, churches, auditoriums, theatres, and more.) is required by law in many states and cities to be certified as flame retardant, according to standards developed by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). NFPA has various standards depending on how the fabric will be used. In the case of draperies, curtains, and similar hanging textiles, the standard that applies is NFPA 701: Standard Methods of Fire Tests for Flame Propagation of Textiles and Films. This test measures the flammability of a fabric when it is exposed to specific sources of ignition.

NFPA 701 (Small Scale) testing measures the ignition resistance of a fabric after it is exposed to a flame for 12 seconds. The flame, char length, and flaming residue are recorded. The fabric will pass the test if all samples meet the following criteria:


An after flame of less than 2.0 seconds

a char length of less than 6.5

the specimen does not continue to flame after reaching the floor of the test chamber

Fabric certified as flame retardant is certified to have been tested and passed the NFPA 701 test.
Last update on 2008-01-29