A number of fire safety experts have gone on record to acknowledge the important role that flame retardant materials likely played in allowing passengers more time to escape and survive the 6 July San Francisco airline crash.
Flame retardant materials play a key role in controlling heat release in fires, enabling aircraft manufacturers to pass strict fire safety tests required by Federal Aviation Regulations. Flame retardant materials have previously been credited by experts for playing an important part in helping passengers escape the 2005 Air France crash in Toronto. Numerous studies and fire tests prove that flame retardants slow down the spread and control heat release in fires. These real life events highlight this research and show that flame retardant materials are effective in providing critical escape time, not only in airplanes, but in cars, homes and offices.
While scientific advancements improved the circumstances around the disaster, it is still a terrible tragedy, in which two people lost their lives and many others were injured. Our thoughts go out to those affected by this crash.
 For more information on studies that have examined the effectiveness of flame retardants: http://flameretardants.americanchemistry.com/Science-Health/Do-Flame-Retardants-Work