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Consumer Product Safety

Industry Guide to Canadian Requirements for Tents

Table of Contents

Introduction

This document provides information about the labelling and performance requirements that apply under the Hazardous Products (Tents) Regulations to tents that are manufactured, imported, advertised or sold in Canada.

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 flammability requirements and test methods for tents; and
  • describe the labelling requirements for tents.

This document is an unofficial summary of the safety 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, contact a Health Canada Consumer Product Safety Office via email (cps-spc@hc-sc.gc.ca) or telephone at 1-866-662-0666 (toll-free within Canada and the United States).

To obtain information on the legislative requirements for tents not covered in this document, refer to the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act and its Regulations listed under Appendix A - Information Resources.

This document may be updated from time to time. For the most recent version, consult Health Canada's Web site.

Legislation

In addition to the product-specific requirements noted in this document, it is prohibited to manufacture, import, advertise or sell any consumer product that is a "danger to human health or safety" as defined in the CCPSA (see paragraphs 7(a) and 8(a)).

The onus is on industry to comply with the legislation.

The Consumer Product Safety Program administers and enforces the CCPSA and the regulations made under it. 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, seizure and/or prosecution under the CCPSA. Any person that manufactures, imports, advertises, or sells noncompliant products that result in property damage, injury or death may also be subject to legal liability.

Tents manufactured, imported, advertised or sold in Canada are subject to the CCPSA and must meet the flammability performance requirements and labelling requirements set out in the Hazardous Products (Tents) Regulations (referred to as the Tents Regulations in this document).

Tents, as defined in Item 31.1 of Part II of Schedule I to the Hazardous Products Act (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.

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. subject one sample unit to the leaching procedure, and one sample unit to the weathering procedure;
  4. condition the specimens and determine the mass per unit area of the specimens; and
  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. condition the specimens; and
  5. 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.

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.

Clarification of Test Method

The Tents Regulations reference specific sections of the 1980 version of CPAI-84 - A Specification for Flame-Resistant Materials Used in Camping Tentage, and the 1995 version is not referenced.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.

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 4.3.1  
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.

Appendix A - Information Resources

NOTICE: For further information visit the resources below or contact a Health Canada Consumer Product Safety Office via email (cps-spc@hc-sc.gc.ca) or telephone at 1-866-662-0666 (toll-free within Canada and the United States).

To obtain a copy of Test method for the Flame Resistance of Tents (F-16) email Health Canada at cps-spc@hc-sc.gc.ca.