Skip to main content

We are just getting started and our Building and Grounds Committee is planning to check with the Fire Marshall on issues relating to tiered movie theater seating. Today it was raised by someone who has done alot of helping set up for proms, that all materials used in decorating may have to be fire retardent.


For example, now I am concerned about using canvas to create our tent. Has anyone else run into any of these problems or concerns?



This important subject has been edited for brevity and readability.

Last edited by Wormy the Helpful Worm
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

If everything had to be flame-retardant then we couldn't even put up posters or maps, or anything made from paper!! I haven't heard that before, and schools certainly don't follow that.

Safety is an important thing to think about though. The exits need to remain clear, and having a lot of fabric hanging down could cause tripping, and possibly a fire hazard. But if you keep safety at the front of your mind when you are building your tent area, then you should do OK.
I personally would not set up a real tent in a room long term, they get stuffy and could be a safety hazard if you all had to leave quickly. The simpler the better, in my opinion. We've set up tents temporarily for VBS, and they really can "get in the way" if your space isn't large enough, and they are hard to get in and out of with a big group.

Since you can't hang things from your ceiling, what about using PVC pipe to build a frame so the posts can be right up against a wall. That should easily hold the fabic and then you can make sure the door of your "tent" is large and open for easy access and exiting.

Just some thoughts.
Last edited {1}

Check with theater companies regarding fireproof fabric. With their hot lights, they have to be very careful, and can give you some information. A source we used on the internet is, once on the site do a search for "flame retardent" to see a list of fabrics and sealents. There are also additives you can add to regular paint to make it flame retardent.


Last edited by Luanne Payne

If you do end up making some sort of tent and find that special fabric isn't required, do stick with your idea of cotton. It is safer (fire speaking) than most synthetics.


Also.... fire safety is much more than 'fabrics'.  Check what your fabrics are touching, such as lighting fixtures (don't let them touch!).


Visually inspect all extension cords and make sure your outlets are modern.


Don't use lamps near fabrics, and never use an open flame around children, unless you have accounted for safe distances and have a wait to immediately put out a flame on anything or anybody!


(fire investigator's wife)

Last edited by Wormy the Helpful Worm

Wormy Notes:


At, we typically ALTER LESSONS that suggest the use of a candle or open flame, or the creation of something like a candle project that kids might be tempted to go home and light.


We've even nuked lessons that suggest setting a gas on fire as part of a "science" demonstration!


Every Sunday School teacher needs to know where the fire extinguishers are.

If you are creating a tent out of non-flame-retardant cloth, then you might consider locating a fire extinguisher IN that room.  The odds of having a fire inside a creatively decorated room are extremely extremely low, if common sense is used.


Add Reply

Post a New Topic
Lesson or Resource Inc. is a volunteer-run, 100% member supported, 501(c)3 non-profit Sunday School lesson ministry. You are welcome to borrow and adapt content for non-commercial teaching purposes --as long as both the site and author are referenced. Inc reserves the right to manage, move, condense, delete, and otherwise improve all content posted to the site. Read our Terms of Service. is rated5 stars on Google based on 51 reviews. Serving a global community including the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, S. Africa, and more!

Link copied to your clipboard.