How do fire curtains work?

Smoke and fire curtains are typically automated and drop down when a fire alarm panel or smoke/heat detector is activated. To provide protection, they are fitted to the exact measurements of a specific area. All non-domestic buildings are required to operate in a fire-safe manner, using fire curtains where appropriate. Automatic fire curtains are increasingly being used in place of fire doors or shutters to unobtrusively maintain fire separation in buildings. So what are the steps to fire curtain installation?

While fire curtain installation is fairly simple there are some pitfalls to watch out for

Five steps to success

1. Before ordering the equipment needed, you should ensure you have a thorough knowledge of the site and that you have accurate measurements. It is also important to know how the head box and side guides are to be interfaced with the walls & ceilings.

Consider these questions:

  • Are parts of the head box visible, will they need powder coating?
  • If we are behind a false ceiling how do we get through the slot?
  • If the side guides are flush, how do we get the rollers into the head box?

2. Know the cause and effect: Will you need to provide two stage curtain drops or delayed drops to allow egress from the area?

3. When you arrive on site, buy the ceiling contractor a coffee. It’s an unusual recommendation, but he will need to be your best friend throughout the installation.

4. Use a laser! Accuracy is everything when setting out.

5. Finally, if you need to make any alterations to the curtain whilst on site…

”Measure Twice, Cut Once”


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