Technical Bulletin — March 2011

The California State Fire Marshal (CSFM) is updating its textile flammability document, Title 19, for the first time since 1993. A change to the pass/fail for the small scale test was drafted in 1993 and used by the industry ever since, but had not been vetted through the CSFM's official process.

A revision draft has already been prepared by a working group comprised of CSFM staff and industry members in 2008/09. The CSFM has created a Flame Retardant Advisory Committee to analyze this draft and make any changes before it is submitted for public comment. It was emphasized that this Flame Retardant Advisory Committee serves in an advisory capacity only; the CSFM has authority over final changes.

Results of March 2011 CSFM Advisory Committee activity:

  • Committee Leadership Change
    There has been a change in staff for CSFM. The former chair, Jeannie Smith, retires as of April 1. James Parsegian, a program coordinator in CSFM Fire Engineering Division, will be the new chair of the advisory committee.
  • Flame-Retardant Product Transmittal Form
    A Flame-Retardant Product Transmittal Form was submitted to the committee for comment. The form is intended to be submitted to the independent lab when a fabric (or chemical) is tested. The Flame-Retardant Product Transmittal Form would then be submitted with the fabric to the CSFM when certification is applied for. The information on the form is intended to help create a database of CSFM certified fabrics and chemicals. A copy of the form is available here.
  • Article 4: Registration of Flame-Retardant Fabric or Material
    The ‘alternate’ test for outdoor fabrics has been eliminated from the revision draft. Outdoor fabrics will need to be tested to the CSFM Large Scale Test, as well as have samples undergo weathering per ASTM G155 and then be tested to the CSFM Small Scale Test.
  • Article 7- Field Testing for Fire Resistance
    The field test has been changed to use a butane lighter as an ignition source rather than a wooden kitchen match. The CSFM conducted tests of the field test methodology and found it to more closely correlate to the lab testing than the previous field test method. A copy of the proposed field test is here.
  • Secondary Registration
    The issue of secondary registration was discussed. If a company purchases fabric that is certified to the CSFM and then re-names the fabric, they cannot carry over the original CSFM certification unless they have received a secondary certification. This is not a new requirement and clarification has been suggested for the revision.
  • Article 8 – Flameproofing Certification, Labeling and Installation
    The issue of having validation stickers for CSFM certificates is still open.

The CSFM Flame Retardant Advisory Committee roster, meeting announcements and minutes are available here.