Arizona schools use onsite service from Flamecheck International LLC to clean, treat and certify their stage curtains so they are fire code compliant
In every school across the country, there is a stage; the place where countless variety shows and productions will play out, acted by students to family and friends in the packed theater. Drama builds and sets are hidden by thick, velour stage drapes. These super-sized fabric pieces used to decoratively conceal various parts of the stage from the audience can also be a fire hazard.
“The reality is, there are no national fire regulations for the safety or treatment of theater curtains. Each state, city and rural area follows whatever rules they have adopted,” explains Christopher Lovato, owner Flamecheck International, LLC. “We looked at what areas have the strictest guidelines in the United States: California, New York, and Boston, Massachusetts and Flamecheck International working with the State Fire Marshalls have adopted many of these stringent regulations to provide the best and safest service possible here in Arizona.”
Just how does a school or church go about planning and preparing to meet these fire codes so the fire inspectors will allow their productions can go on?
First, look for the tags on your curtains. If they are missing or more than three to five years since the last service, contact Flamecheck International to set up your free inspection.
Curtains will trap the dust from the air in its fibers, not only causing it to look dingy and dirty but will cause the curtains to wear out prematurely from the abrasion. Flamecheck International uses a proprietary vortex system that uses air to remove 85 to 90% of the dust and old flame retardant built up in the curtains. Vacuums and brushes remove most other unsightly marks left on the velour. Flamecheck M-111 when applied not only Flame Retards the fabric but also works to remove other unsightly marks. Flamecheck M-111 bonds to the fabric at a molecular level and so will not fall out or be removed by vibration or air movement.
Flamecheck International strives to complete all jobs on-site. Although, sometimes it’s necessary to send some jobs out to our cleaning, repair and treatment facility in New York requiring six to eight weeks to clean, repair and treat the curtains and return to the school, 95% of our jobs are completed on-site. Minor rips and tears are repaired on-site.
Once the curtains are de-dusted, we use our non-toxic, non-allergenic, non-odorous, Flamecheck M-111 to achieve a “Class A” fire rating on your curtains. Flamecheck M-111’s unique formula will clean any remaining dust leaving your curtains looking brighter and more vivid and in more like-new condition. This treatment usually dries in Arizona in only two to four hours, allowing you to use the stage as soon as they are dry.
Now your curtains are brighter, cleaner, and safer. The next step is to test for fire code compliance. We take a sample and perform the NFPA 701-705 field flame test to verify that the curtains have a “Class A” fire-retardant finish.
Tags placed on each treated curtain. The tags have a section on them with a water-based red ink, that dissolves when washed. These tags are designed to let the Fire Marshall know that if the red section is no longer red your curtains need to be retested and possibly retreated. Tags have the date of the service, our company information, the chemical used and a unique tag number that will correspond with the Certificate of Fire Resistance.
Three copies of the Certificate of Fire Resistance are provided when the job is complete: one for the school, district office, and the Fire Marshal. These certificates have our company information on them, the chemical used, date treated, description of each item treated and their unique tag numbers, and signature of installer and supervisor. To avoid forgery, we also emboss the certificate with our logo.
“Once the curtains are cleaned and the dust and old flame-retardant is removed, and the Flamecheck M-111 is applied, the curtains are restored to their previous glory,” shares Chris. “People are amazed at the difference, and how good the stage drapes look, almost like new when we’re done.”
Flamecheck M-111 when applied does not change the color, nor the feel of the curtains.
Flamecheck International’s procedures are as follows:
- Inspect the curtains
- Clean the curtains
- Test the cleaned curtains
- Repair minor rips and tears.
- If needed, Apply fire retardant to the curtains
- Test that the application is successful. If not retreat and test again.
- Once treatment is successful, Tag the curtains.
- Issue Certificate of Fire Resistance
If you’d like to learn more about protecting your stage curtains or becoming Fire Code Compliant, contact Christopher Lovato at Flamecheck International at 520-528-1527 or Chris.firstname.lastname@example.org.