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Getting fabric approved to California’s Title 19

Resources | June 1, 2011 | By:

I’m bringing my tents into the U.S. and am having my fabrics tested at an independent lab to get California certification. The lab is asking me if I need the material tested to Test 1 or Test 2. Which should I use, and do I really have to send the fabric to California if it’s already been tested?

The current procedure for getting fabric approved to California’s Title 19 is to have the fabric tested by one of the approved independent labs and then send those test reports and a sample of the fabric to the California State Fire Marshal (CSFM). Their lab also tests the material before certification is granted, so yes, you will need to send fabric samples to the CSFM. Title 19 is in the process of being revised, and the revision will probably change this procedure, but there’s no timeline yet for when that will take effect. All fabrics that already have Title 19 certification will be grandfathered into the Title 19 revision for a period of time.

“Test 1” and “Test 2” are not terms that are used in Title 19 – it uses “Small Scale” and “Large Scale.” However, “Test 1” and “Test 2” are terms used in NFPA 701, another commonly quoted FR specification for fabrics used in tents. It is NFPA 701 that is quoted in the International Building Code and International Fire Code. Test 2 is the test that is commonly used for tent-type applications.

SOURCE Office of the California State Fire Marshal (CSFM)

SOURCE National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

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

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