This page was printed from

Accessing a fabric’s flame spread

June 1st, 2010 / By: / Resources

The local fire marshal is asking what the flame spread is on the fabric I’m using. The material is certified to NFPA 701; is that the same thing?

No. Flame spread is the propagation of flame away from an ignition source and over a surface. The flame spread number comes from calculations done with the results of the material’s testing to ASTM E84: Standard Test Method for Surface Burning Characteristics of Building Materials. NFPA 701 tests for afterflame, burning residue and char length, but not flame spread. You’ll need to contact your fabric supplier, as it’s possible that they’ve had that particular test done or are willing to do it. Be advised that a fee may be assessed. Failing that, you could have the fabric tested at a lab.


ASTM International

SOURCE National Fire Protection Agency

Juli Case is IFAI’s information and technical services manager.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments are moderated and will show up after being approved.