Why Flame Retardant Curtains are Important in Hospitals

Doors & Windows

Most people don’t really take the time to consider curtains that are hanging in hospitals, though they would miss them if they weren’t there or notice if they were somber tones. However, when it comes to flame retardant curtains, most people don’t even realize these privacy drapes are flame-retardant.


Flame resistant and flame retardant are not the same things, though people use the terms interchangeably. When someone says flame retardant, it means that it will keep the fire from spreading and flame resistant means the fabric is designed so that it will not catch fire.

You can sometimes find these kinds of drapes that are flame resistant, but all curtains in hospitals are designed to be flame retardant.

However, all cubicle curtains must be fire-retardant. If there is a fire located near one of these curtains, it will reduce the flammability of the fuel and delay combustion. Because many different fabric options are available, you can either choose a fire retardant fiber or have the chemical properties topically applied to a non-fire retardant fabric.


All privacy curtains have a mesh above the patterned fabric. This is required by the National Fire Protection Association and there is usually specific mesh rules applied. Most suggestion that the mesh should be 70 percent open because this will allow the ceiling’s sprinkler system to get through to the fire, even if the curtain is completely closed.

The mesh should also be a specific length. This is usually determined by the amount of room from the sprinkler to the mesh. For example, if you have a sprinkler that is nine inches away from the ceiling track, the mesh should be nine inches long. However, the vertical mesh length cannot exceed 18 inches, regardless of how far away the sprinkler is to the track.

Hospital Rules

Most hospitals have their own rules governing privacy curtains, so when choosing new ones or replacements, it is important to view their rules before buying. However, the hospital will not be up to code if the curtains are not flame retardant, so make sure to use a reputable company that offers this service. You should not have to pay extra to have the flame retardant at Cube Care, if you use a company that specializes in hospital curtains, as they are required to be flame-retardant anyway.

If you are unsure, ask the company whether or not the curtains are up to NFPA standards and regulations.