SGS Details North American Flammability Standards for Tents and Sleeping Bags

Testing and certification service provider SGS has published details of the flammability standards that tents and sleeping bags must conform to in North America.

In Canada, the tent is defined under Item 31.1 of Part II of Schedule I of Canada’s Hazardous Products Act as a shelter made in whole or in part of fabric or other pliable materials. A new national standard for tent flammability and labelling – CAN/CGSB-182.1-2020 – was published by the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) in April 2020. This replaces the Tent Regulation (SOR/2016-185), although currently the new standard is voluntary until amendments are made to both tent and toy regulations.

The U.S. does not have specific legislation covering tent flammability at the national level but several states, including California, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, and New Jersey, mandate CPAI-84 – Flammability of Camping Tents. However, this standard is now outdated in terms of most modern tent materials, said SGS, so tent manufacturers should follow ASTM F3431-20 – Standard Specification for Determining Flammability of Materials for Recreational Camping Tents and Warning Labels for Associated Hazards. This is a revision of CPAI-84 and it follows the test methods and flammability requirements in CAN/CGSB-182.1-2020, said SGS.

“Manufacturers should note that California makes a distinction between small (less than ten people) and large tents,” said SGS. “The fire marshal’s office states that the materials in a small tent must comply with the Title 19 small scale test, which does not differentiate between the materials used for flooring, walls and roof materials. For large tents, the Californian code can be interpreted as requiring compliance with NFPA 701 – applicable when the tent functions as a public assembly space.”

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When looking at sleeping bags, both Canada and the US use technically equivalent standards, said SGS:

  • Canada: ASTM F1955-15 Standard Test Method for Flammability of Sleeping Bags
  • USA: CPAI-75:1976A Rate of Burn Standard for Sleeping Bags

Around the world, tents and sleeping bags might not have specific legislation relating to tent and sleeping bag flammability but they will still come under general safety requirements. This can still mean recalls if the product is found to be dangerous. It is therefore important that tent and sleeping bag manufacturers ensure their products comply with the correct market regulations for fire safety.

SGS provides a comprehensive range of services to help manufacturers ensure their products comply with flammability legislation for a wide range of products, including tents and sleeping bags.

Read the original article, Making Camping Safe: Tent and Sleeping Bag Flammability. [www.sgs.com/en/news/2020/10/making-camping-safe-tent-and-sleeping-bag-flammability]