The Barn Theatre,
25 Bluehouse Lane, Oxted, Surrey
RH8 0AA.

Tel: 01959 561811
Email: barntheatre


Scenery and Other Flammable Items


Theatre Info


Around the Barn



All scenery, decorations, borders, drapery, gauzes, cloths, curtains and similar decorative hangings must be made of material which is not readily inflammable, or of material which has been rendered and is maintained flame-retarded to the satisfaction of the Theatre and the Licensing Authority.

Scenery must be made of the following materials:
   non-combustible material
   inherently flame-retarded fabric
   fabrics rendered and maintained flame-retarded
   timber, hardboard or plywood treated by a process of impregnation which meets class 1 when tested in accordance with BS 476-7
   timber framing of minimum 22mm nominal thickness

The use of plastics or expanded polystyrene must be avoided whenever possible. Decorative items such as statues made of expanded polystyrene must be enclosed by a non-combustible skin of, for example, plastered scrim, Artex or Rosco Foamcoat, and care taken that this skin is maintained undamaged.

Plywood and similar boards must be branded with a recognised stamp to certify the standard of flame retardancy achieved. Where the stamp is not visible, certificates must be retained and made available upon request.

Any carpets and other textile floor coverings and under-lays when tested appropriately in accordance with BS 4790 must either not ignite or have the effects of ignition limited to a radius of 35mm on both upper and under surfaces. Appropriate certificates must be retained and made available upon request.

Props - similar considerations of reducing the risk of fire apply to the use of properties and furnishings as to the use of scenery. Where the action does not involve the use of naked flame or smoking lesser standards may be appropriate. As a general rule hand held properties and antique furnishings will be approved without flame retardancy treatment. However the Theatre will generally apply the same standards as apply to scenery to large properties, furniture and to items especially constructed for the presentation. Appropriate certificates must be retained and made available upon request. Items such as tablecloths, curtains and bedclothes must be flame retardant.

Costumes - where real flame is in use it may be necessary for flimsy costumes to be fireproofed in which case some form of recognised certification must be retained. The liquid used for flameproofing can cause irritation to the skin in some (rare) cases, hence often costumes or bed lining is not treated. If this is the case then an exception may be made dependant upon the circumstances (for instance if an actor is wearing a night dress and carrying a candle then it is unlikely you will get dispensation but if the use of real flame are not present then an exception will be granted.

Hired costumes, furniture, props and scenic items such as cloths curtain and scenery must fireproofed, some documentary evidence should be provided with the items hired such as a certificate of conformity.

The theatre has Flamecheck Solution available for flameproofing
Flamecheck M111 has BS 5852 part 2 (crib 5) for both natural fibres, mixed firbres (cotton polyester) and pure synthetics such as polyester and draylon.
Flamecheck M111 passes BS 5867 part 2 on natural, synthetic and mixed fabrics. Natural fabrics include cotton, wool, cotton backed draylon. Synthetics include nylon and mixed such as cotton polyester.
Flamecheck M111 can also treat hessian, foam rubber, untreated wood, and any other item that can absorb the chemical.

Flamecheck is a colourless, odourless, non-toxic, non-corrosive liquid that you simply spray onto all types of material (natural or synthetic) or even untreated wood. After drying, it cannot be seen or felt. Treated materials will not support a flame - if a fire started in an untreated area, on reaching the treated area it would simply go out.

New materials and blends are frequently being introduced so always pre-test a sample before treatment.

Treatment lasts for the useful life of the material treated. Unaffected by years of walking (on carpets) or sitting (on furniture) or wearing (of clothes) and will withstand multiple chemical dry cleanings.

Being a water based chemical, flooding or continuous water based washings or cleaning can impair the treatment.

One litre covers between 100 - 120 square feet.

Retardants can be mixed with paint before application, or sprayed directly on the material using a garden sprayer, or the material may be submerged in retardant.

Testing; the testing of materials is to be carried out using a gas flame, with the cone of the flame applied to the surface of the material for between 15 and 30 seconds. When the flame is removed the material will not burn or smoulder by itself.

The Theatre reserves the right to check and test where deemed necessary all scenery for compliance with the appropriate fire standard. The Theatre may remove, or render flame-retarded at the Hirers expense, any items not conforming to the appropriate standard, since failure to comply may result in the performance being cancelled.

Naked lights and pyrotechnics can only be used when suitable fire-fighting equipment is at hand and under the control of the Stage Manager or his designated operative.