All materials with FR shown beside them are Fire Retardant (also known as Flame Retardant). Although most tarps are not highly flammable, they will burn if exposed to open flames.
FR Rated tarps are generally recommended for tarps that will be used indoors, especially in buildings where open flames are present such as welding facilities. Most building codes require FR rated tarps for all indoor applications, even in facilities such as gymnasiums where flames are not generally present. It is a good idea to check with your city's fire marshal to find out whether a flame retardant tarp is required for your project.
FR rated tarp material is manufactured using a chemical to prohibit combustion. Note that this does not mean that the tarps will not be harmed by fire. Instead, it means that the tarps will melt or disintegrate when exposed to flame but will not fuel the fire and facilitate combustion. For example, if you put a match to a non-FR rated tarp it may start to burn and may continue to burn even after you remove the match. On the other hand, the FR rated tarp will not burn after the source of the flame has been removed.
Although FR tarps can be used outside as well, our experience has shown that FR rated materials don't tend to last as long as non-FR materials when exposed to the elements. For this reason, we generally recommend using non-FR materials outdoors unless your building code mandates an FR tarp.
The materials that are indicated with FR in the name meet or exceed the following fire testing standard:
NFPA 701 (National Fire Prevention Association)
- Standard methods of fire tests for flame propagation of textiles and films
Some of our FR materials have also been certified under the following testing body:
CAN/ULC-S109-03 (Standards Council of Canada)
- Flame tests of flame-resistant fabrics and films