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Consumer Product Safety

Industry Guide to Canadian Requirements for Tents

ISBN: 978-0-662-06465-7
Cat. No.: H128-1/09-570
HC Pub.: 4187

Help on accessing alternative formats, such as Portable Document Format (PDF), Microsoft Word and PowerPoint (PPT) files, can be obtained in the alternate format help section.

Table of Contents

Preface

The intent of this document is to:

  • provide information about the legislation in Canada that applies to products that are, or are likely to be, a danger to health or safety;
  • explain how this legislation applies to tents;
  • describe the test methods for tents;
  • describe the labelling requirements for tents; and
  • outline the roles and responsibilities of industry and government.

This document may be updated from time to time. For the most recent version, consult Reports and Publications in the Consumer Product Safety (CPS) section of Health Canada's Web site at www.healthcanada.gc.ca/cps.

This document is an unofficial summary of the requirements for tents. It is not intended to substitute for, supersede or limit the requirements under the applicable legislation. In case of any discrepancy between this summary and the legislation, the legislation will prevail. For further information or specific questions, requests or clarification, contact a Health Canada Product Safety Office (refer to Appendix A - List of Health Canada Product Safety Offices).

Legislation

Health Canada's Consumer Product Safety (CPS) program works with stakeholders to protect Canadians from productrelated hazards and to promote the safe use of products. Part I of the Hazardous Products Act (HPA) provides the authority to prohibit or restrict the advertising, sale and importation of a variety of products that are, or are likely to be, a danger to health or safety. Industry is responsible to comply with the legislation. Enforcement actions taken by Product Safety Officers on noncompliant products depend on the degree of hazard associated with noncompliance, and include commitment to product correction by industry, negotiation with industry for the voluntary removal of these products from the market, recall, seizure and/or prosecution under the HPA. Any person or company that advertises, sells or imports noncompliant products that result in property damage, injury or death may also be subject to legal liability.

Tents, as defined in Item 31.1 of Part II of Schedule I to the HPA, are shelters made in whole or in part of fabric or other pliable materials.

Products that are considered as tents include, but are not limited to:

  • camping tents;
  • dining shelters;
  • gazebos;
  • hunting blinds;
  • ice-fishing tents;
  • play tents;
  • teepees.

Products that are not considered tents include:

  • air-supported structures;
  • awnings;
  • canopies;
  • tarpaulins;
  • temporary car shelters;
  • tent trailers;
  • tents subject to the National Building Code of Canada, 1985.

Tents advertised, sold or imported into Canada must meet flammability performance requirements and labelling requirements as set out in the Hazardous Products (Tents) Regulations (referred to as Tents Regulations in this document). They must also meet federal labelling requirements as set out in the Textile Labelling Act and the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act which are both administered and enforced by Industry Canada.

Compliance of tents to CPAI-84 - A Specification for Flame-Resistant Materials Used in Camping Tentage does NOT ensure compliance to the Canadian legislation.

For more information on legislative requirements for tents, refer to Appendix C - Information Resources.

Flammability Performance Requirements

Manufacturers are advised to verify that all their materials comply with the flammability requirements prior to assembly. However, compliance of the tent will be assessed on the finished product. The flammability requirements apply to all pliable flooring, wall and top materials used in a tent. If more than one material is used, each component material shall be tested independently. A component is considered to be materials of different fabric weights and/or colours, flexible plastic windows, or materials with different applied finishes. Thread, zippers, ropes, hook and loop fasteners, labels, and other such trim are not subject to the flammability requirements of the regulations.

Be aware that modifying the materials by applying coatings, screen printing inks or other finishes can affect the flammability of a tent. Make sure that all materials are tested as found in the finished product.

Test Method for Wall and Top Materials

In accordance with the procedure set out in Schedule II of the Tents Regulations:

  1. cut twenty-four specimens;
  2. divide the specimens into three sample units;
  3. condition the specimens and determine the mass per unit area of the specimens;
  4. subject one sample unit to the leaching procedure, and one sample unit to the weathering procedure;
  5. test the three sample units using the prescribed test method.

A wall and top material sample unit does not comply with the flammability requirements if:

  • any specimen in a sample unit has an after-flame time that exceeds four seconds;
  • the average after-flame time of the specimens of the sample unit exceeds two seconds;
  • the damaged length of any specimen of the sample unit or the average damaged length of the specimens of a sample unit exceeds the maximums set out in Section 6 of the Tents Regulations;
  • any specimen has portions that break, or residues that drip, from the specimen and that continue to flame after reaching the floor of the test cabinet.

Test Method for Flooring Materials

In accordance with the procedure set out in Schedule II of the Tents Regulations:

  1. cut twelve specimens;
  2. divide the specimens into three sample units;
  3. subject one sample unit to the leaching procedure, and one sample unit to the weathering procedure;
  4. test the three sample units using the prescribed test method.

A flooring material sample unit does not comply with the flammability requirements if any specimen in a sample unit displays any damage within 25 mm of the edge of the hole in the flattening frame.

For detailed testing information, refer to the Test Method for the Flame Resistance of Tents - Method F-16 listed in Appendix C - Information Resources. See also the Clarification of Test Method section of this document.

Test Report Requirements

Flammability test results must be reported for each component material and must include the data from the three required sample units (as received, after leaching and after weathering).

The following test results must be reported for each sample unit of wall and top material:

  • the mass per unit area of each material;
  • the after-flame time of each specimen;
  • the average after-flame time of the specimens of the sample unit;
  • the damaged length of each specimen;
  • the average damaged length of the specimens of the sample unit;
  • the presence of any portions that break, or any residues that drip, from a specimen and that continue to flame after reaching the floor of the test cabinet.

The following test results must be reported for each sample unit of flooring material:

  • the shortest distance between the damaged area and the edge of the hole in the flattening frame of each specimen.

Labelling Requirements

Mandatory bilingual (English and French) labelling is required by the Tents Regulations. The label must be permanently affixed to the tent in a prominent location, and must remain clear and legible for the useful life of the product. Additional information may be printed on the label as long as it does not contradict or weaken the required information.

All tents must bear a label that displays the following statement, word for word, as prescribed in Section 4(a) of the Tents Regulations, in upper-case letters not less than 3 mm in height:

WARNING: KEEP ALL FLAME AND HEAT SOURCES AWAY FROM THIS TENT FABRIC / MISE EN GARDE : TENIR LE TISSU DE CETTE TENTE LOIN DE TOUTE FLAMME ET DE TOUTE SOURCE DE CHALEUR

The label must also display the following statement, word for word, as prescribed in Section 4(b) of the Tents Regulations:

This tent is made of flame-resistant fabric. It is not fireproof. The fabric will burn if left in continuous contact with a flame source. / Cette tente est fabriquée d'un tissu résistant au feu, mais qui n'est pas ininflammable. Ce tissu brûlera s'il est laissé en contact continu avec une source d'inflammation.

As per Section 4(c) of the Tents Regulations, the label must also display the information set out in Schedule I or words that convey the same meaning.

The following precautions should be taken when camping:

  1. Do not use candles, matches or open flames of any kind in or near a tent.
  2. Do not cook inside a tent.
  3. Build campfires downwind and several metres away from a tent and be sure to fully extinguish campfires before leaving a campsite or before retiring for the night.
  4. Exercise extreme caution when using fuel-powered lanterns or heaters inside a tent and use battery-operated lanterns whenever possible.
  5. Do not refuel lamps, heaters or stoves inside a tent.
  6. Extinguish or turn off all lanterns before going to sleep.
  7. Do not smoke in a tent.
  8. Do not store flammable liquids inside a tent.

Les précautions suivantes doivent être prises en camping :

  1. Ne jamais utiliser de bougies, d'allumettes, ni aucune autre flamme nue à l'intérieur ou à proximité de la tente.
  2. Ne pas faire de cuisson à l'intérieur de la tente.
  3. Faire les feux de camp à plusieurs mètres de la tente, du côté autre que celui d'où souffle le vent; s'assurer de toujours bien éteindre les feux de camp avant de quitter le terrain ou de se coucher.
  4. Être extrêmement prudent lorsque des lanternes ou des appareils de chauffage à combustible sont utilisés à l'intérieur de la tente et se servir autant que possible de lanternes à piles.
  5. Ne jamais remplir le réservoir des lampes, des appareils de chauffage ou des poêles à l'intérieur de la tente.
  6. Éteindre toutes les lanternes avant de se coucher.
  7. Ne pas fumer à l'intérieur de la tente.
  8. Ne jamais ranger des liquides inflammables à l'intérieur de la tente.

With regards to the labelling requirements stated in Section 4(c) of the Tents Regulations, play tent labels need only display 1(a) of Schedule I or words that convey the same meaning:

Do not use candles, matches or open flames of any kind in or near a tent. / Ne jamais utiliser de bougies, d'allumettes, ni aucune autre flamme nue à l'intérieur ou à proximité de la tente.

Textile materials used in tents are also subject to the requirements of the Textile Labelling Act and the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act and their Regulations, as administered by the Competition Bureau of Industry Canada. Provincial labelling requirements may also apply.

Clarification of Test Method

The Tents Regulations reference test methods from the 1980 version of CPAI-84 - A Specification for Flame-Resistant Materials Used in Camping Tentage. CPAI-84 (1980) is NOT referenced in its entirety, and the 1995 version of the standard is NOT recognized by the Tents Regulations. As a result, a product that meets the requirements of either version of CPAI-84 may not meet all of the requirements of the Tents Regulations.

CPAI-84 (1995) allows an exemption for no-see-ums type mesh netting and mesh materials weighing 50 g/m2 or less, and has a test method modification for lightweight fabrics with a mass of less than 100 g/m2. The exemption and test method modification are NOT included in the Tents Regulations and, as such, these materials are subject to the full testing requirements of the regulations.

Since access to Carbon Arc weathering equipment is limited, the use of any one of the three weathering methods stipulated under section 4.2 of CPAI-84 (1995) is accepted. These methods are Carbon Arc, Xenon Lamp Exposure, and Fluorescent UV and Condensation Method. The method selected and results shall be noted in the manufacturers and importers records. Be aware that Health Canada's Product Safety Laboratory uses the Xenon Lamp Exposure method for compliance and enforcement purposes.

Since Matheson Manufactured Gas Type B is no longer available, methane gas that meets the specifications of section 6.2.4 of CPAI-84 (1995) shall be used in its place.

For your convenience, Table 1 cross-references sections of the 1980 and 1995 versions of CPAI-84 that are considered equivalent for the purpose of enforcing the Tents Regulations.

Table 1: Equivalent sections of CPAI-84 (1980 versus 1995)
Section from CPAI-84 (1980) quoted in the Tents Regulations Equivalent section in CPAI-84 (1995) Notes
5.1.1 4.1.3  
5.1.2 4.3.2  
6.1 5.1  
5.2.2 4.1.2  
5.2.3 4.1.3  
5.3.2 and 5.3.3 4.2.2 Any of the three weathering methods listed in section 4.2.2 of CPAI-84 (1995) is acceptable.
6 5, excluding 5.3  
7.1 6.1  
7 6, excluding 6.3 Refer to Schedule II, Subsection 3(h) of the Tents Regulations for additional reporting requirements.

Roles and Responsibilities

The roles and responsibilities of government and industry in ensuring the safety of tents include, but are not limited to, the following:

Health Canada

  • Develop and enforce the legislation.
  • Educate and inform industry and consumers.
  • Monitor the marketplace, including following up on industry and consumer complaints, recalls by industry and the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), and referrals from other agencies or governments.
  • Obtain samples for testing to determine compliance with the HPA flammability requirements for tents.

For products that do not comply with the HPA flammability requirements for tents:

  • take enforcement actions depending on the risk of the products to the consumer, including:
    • providing a verbal or written warning for corrective action to be taken by industry,
    • negotiating with industry to voluntarily discontinue the sale of these products through removal, disposal or recall at industry's expense,
    • seizing noncompliant products and/or prosecuting industry under the HPA;
  • inform the United States CPSC if the noncompliant product has been shipped to the United States;
  • issue a public warning or advisory (press release and/or information bulletin), as required.

Tent Manufacturers

  • Ensure that your finished products (i.e. not just bolts of fabric) meet the HPA flammability and labelling requirements for tents and not just the requirements of CPAI-84.
  • Test your finished products regularly to ensure ongoing compliance with the HPA flammability requirements for tents.
  • Ensure that test results can be linked to specific finished products.
  • Co-operate in any removal, disposal or recall from the marketplace of your products are found to be noncompliant.

Tent Importers

  • Ensure that the products you are importing meet the HPA flammability and labelling requirements for tents.
  • Before importing the products, get proof of compliance with the HPA flammability requirements for tents in the form of test results from a reputable laboratory; if this information is not available, do not import the products, or have the products tested yourself. Note: test results only showing compliance to CPAI-84 are not sufficient.
  • Before importing the products, ensure that the labelling meets the requirements of the HPA by requesting copies of the labels.
  • Co-operate in any removal, disposal or recall from the marketplace of your products found to be noncompliant when informed.

Retailers/Buyers

  • Only carry products that meet the HPA flammability and labelling requirements for tents.
  • Before purchasing the products, get proof of compliance with the HPA flammability requirements for tents in the form of test results from a reputable laboratory; if this information is not available, do not purchase the products, or have the products tested yourself.
  • Before purchasing the products, ensure that the labelling meets the requirements of the HPA by requesting copies of the labels.
  • When notified of a removal, disposal or recall of a noncompliant product, immediately remove the affected product from sale and follow any other corrective actions.
Safety is a shared responsibility

Appendix A - List of Health Canada Product Safety Offices

  • British Columbia and Yukon
    • Suite 400
      4595 Canada Way
      Burnaby, British Columbia
      V5G 1J9
      Tel: 604-666-5003
      Fax: 604-666-5988
      bby_prodsafe@hc-sc.gc.ca
    • Serves these States in the US: Alaska, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, Washington
  • Alberta and Northwest Territories
    • c/o Suite 730, Canada Place
      9700 Jasper Avenue
      Edmonton, Alberta
      T5J 4C3
      Tel: 780-495-2626
      Fax: 780-495-2624
      alberta_prodsafe@hc-sc.gc.ca
    • Room 282, Harry Hays Building
      220-4th Avenue South East
      Calgary, Alberta
      T2G 4X3
      Tel: 403-292-4677
      Fax: 403-292-4644
      alberta_prodsafe@hc-sc.gc.ca
    • Serves these States in the US: Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming
  • Manitoba and Saskatchewan
    • 510 Lagimodiere Boulevard
      Winnipeg, Manitoba
      R2J 3Y1
      Tel: 204-983-5490
      Fax: 204-984-0461
      mb_prodsafe@hc-sc.gc.ca
    • Room 412, Federal Building
      101-22nd Street East
      Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
      S7K 0E1
      Tel: 306-975-4502
      Fax: 306-975-6040
      sk_prodsafe@hc-sc.gc.ca
    • Serves these States in the US: Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Wisconsin
  • Ontario and Nunavut
    • 2301 Midland Avenue
      Toronto, Ontario
      M1P 4R7
      Tel: 416-973-1748
      Fax: 416-973-1746
      tor_prodsafe@hc-sc.gc.ca
    • 55 Bay Street North
      9th Floor
      Hamilton, Ontario
      L8R 3P7
      Tel: 905-572-2845
      Fax: 905-572-4581
      tor_prodsafe@hc-sc.gc.ca
    • Serves these States in the US: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New York, North Carolina
  • Quebec
    • 1001 St-Laurent Street West
      Longueuil, Quebec
      J4K 1C7
      Tel: 514-283-5488
      Fax: 450-928-4066
      quebec_prod@hc-sc.gc.ca
    • 901 Cap Diamant, Local 266-1
      Quebec, Quebec
      G1K 4K1
      Tel: 418-648-4327
      Fax: 418-649-6536
      quebec_prod@hc-sc.gc.ca
    • Serves these States in the US: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont
  • Atlantic
    • Suite 1625, 1505 Barrington Street
      Halifax, Nova Scotia
      B3J 3Y6
      Tel: 902-426-8300
      Fax: 902-426-6676
      atlantic_prodsafe@hc-sc.gc.ca
    • 777 Main Street, Suite 300
      Moncton, New Brunswick
      E1C 1E9
      Tel: 506-851-6638
      Fax: 506-851-7369
      atlantic_prodsafe@hc-sc.gc.ca
    • 10 Barters Hill
      John Cabot Building, 3rd Floor
      St. John's, Newfoundland
      A1C 6M1
      Tel: 709-772-4050
      Fax: 709-772-5945
      atlantic_prodsafe@hc-sc.gc.ca
    • Serves these States/District in the US: Alabama, Delaware, District of Colombia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia
  • National
    • Consumer Product Safety Bureau
      MacDonald Building, 4th Floor
      123 Slater Street
      Ottawa, Ontario
      K1A 0K9
      Tel: 613-954-0104
      Fax: 613-952-9138
      cps-spc@hc-sc.gc.ca

Appendix B - Canadian Tent Testing Laboratories

This listing of laboratories implies no certification or endorsement by Health Canada, nor is it necessarily a complete listing of all laboratories in Canada that provide textile flammability testing services.

Appendix C - Information Resources

Notice: For further information, contact a Health Canada Product Safety Office (refer to Appendix A - List of Health Canada Product Safety Offices) or visit the following: