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Canopy Tent Certifications - What you need to know?

Canopy Tent Certifications - What you need to know?

We understand you're just looking to purchase a beautiful custom pop up tent to generate attention and stand out at your next event. It's not your job to understand 40+ year old safety certifications measuring the levels of flammability in tents. That's what we're here for!

We're the experts and here to help you navigate the wonderful world of pop up canopy tents and make sure you can focus on showcasing whatever it is you do best. We don't want you stressing about a fire marshal asking you to take yours down because you purchased a tent from someone who wasn't certified.

We hope the questions below help give you a better understanding of what is required to display a canopy tent, why these standards are important, and how they are measured.

What is CPAI-84?

CPAI-84 is a fire safety standard set by Industrial Fabrics Association International to ensure that portable tents and their parts are safe. CPAI-84 is a testing method used specifically for confirming the flame resistance of fabric used in manufacturing tents. LookOurWay's specific certification applies to "small tents" which are defined as covering 9 people or less.

What is measured in the CPAI-84 tests?

  • Flame Retardant - materials designed to resist fire.
  • Flame Resistant - materials that self extinguish when they catch on fire.
  • After Flame - how long a material continues to burn after being removed from a direct flame.
  • Char Length - the vertical length char measurement of a piece of fabric after being ignited
  • Residual Flame - the material burnt off of the fabric and continues to burn on its own

What is NFPA-701?

NFPA-701 is a national flame standard defined by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) that requires tent materials used in public spaces be fire retardant. The test results evaluate how flames react under various conditions, thus meeting an important safety standard for use in public spaces and events.

The NFPA gives freedom to states and other local governments to create their own enforceable guidelines and standards. Most states operate using the NFPA test
framework; however, California developed the CPAI-84 which takes the testing a step further, analyzing how the fabric reacts to the wrap and the fill direction.
NFPA 701: Standard Methods of Fire Tests for Flame Propagation of Textiles and Films. This test measures the flammability of a fabric when it is exposed to specific sources of ignition. NFPA 701 (Small Scale) testing measures the ignition resistance of a fabric after it is exposed to a flame for 12 seconds. The flame, char length, and flaming residue are recorded. The fabric will pass the test if all samples meet the following criteria:
  • An after flame of less than 2.0 seconds.
  • A char length of less than 6.5".
  •  The specimen does not continue to flame after reaching the floor of the test chamber
  • CPAI-84 vs NFPA-701

    NFPA-701 is a general test method focused on determining the flammability of several different fabrics. CPAI-84 is focused on looking at the fire resistance of the materials specifically used in tents.

    Licensing:

    Under license #F-100904, LookOurWay, is registered with the California State Fire Marshall and has the certification available so you can provide this approval to your local fire marshall. This is also available for download in our resource center. We also have the NFPA-701 certified test report available.

    What do I show the fire marshal to prove this?

    Each tent includes a durable label sewn into the inside of the tent which showcases the license # and certification that the materials used meet the flame resistance requirements. In addition, our tent certification is available for download.

    Is the tent fireproof?

    No, this tent is made with flame resistant fabric which meets CPAI-84 specifications.  It is not fireproof. The fabric will burn if left in continuous contact with any flame source.

    Why is this important when choosing a canopy tent?

    Our goal is to educate and give you the confidence when purchasing a custom canopy tent from LookOurWay that we meet the highest safety standards and you are not jeopardizing not getting to use your custom event tent because it doesn't pass these important safety standards. Trust us, we've heard horror stories of companies being forced to take down their items and want to make sure this doesn't happen to you.

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