If you are a tour manager for an artist or band, we understand that you have a ton of tasks on your plate. You are coordinating everything from the hard and soft goods for the set design to the staging companies to the travel schedule. Sometimes it feels as if there just isn’t enough time in the day to take care of everything. I thought I’d help out by passing on a little information on flame retardancy for stage drapery. With this information upfront, hopefully it will mean less for you to worry about.


  1. Request 12” x 12” burn samples of the fabric(s) used for your newly purchased and rented stage drapes and other soft goods. Even with a Certificate of Flame Retardancy, a Fire Marshal at a venue may ask for a burn sample in order to do a field test onsite.
  2. Request the appropriate Certificate(s) of Flame Retardancy based on the tour schedule. Flame retardancy requirements vary state to state (and even city to city), and so letting your soft goods supplier know upfront where the tour is headed will help ensure that you have all the necessary certification.
  3. If a tour is headed to Boston, complete a Boston Fire Department Use Application and send it to Boston Fire Department, along with a 12” x 12” burn sample of each drapery fabric. This is typically required two to four weeks in advance of the Boston show.
  4. If your soft goods are more than a year old, have the drapery tested and re-certified by a certified flame retardancy company before the new tour begins. Some local Fire Marshals may be satisfied with doing a field burn test but others may not pass a drape for use at a show if the certificate is more than one year old.
  5. Don’t try to figure it out all on your own – ask questions! If you are unsure or unclear about any flame retardancy issue related to your new or existing soft goods, talk to your drapery supplier! They are the experts in the subject and can help you navigate this often complex subject.