What are fire curtains used for?

The main purpose of fire and smoke curtains is to prevent or slow down the ingress of fire and smoke into other areas of a building. They are often used in place of heavy and intrusive fire doors. The curtains should enclose or canalise smoke and/or fire to prevent it from spreading. In combination with smoke and heat exhaust systems, fire and smoke curtains help keep emergency and escape routes clear.

What do fire curtains do?

As fire-separating systems, fire curtains should be used to provide adequate compartmentalisation within the building as well as to allow vertical and horizontal escape without compromising fire resistance. Fire curtain installation should also prevent the ingress of smoke into protected corridors and shafts.

Where are fire curtains installed?

Detailed recommendations on positioning and ratings for fire curtains used for means of escape purposes are provided in both in BS 9999 and BS 9991 and focus on a risk-based approach. Fire curtains can become a critical element of building design, if they don’t deploy to the required operational position then the intended protection would be compromised so it’s essential that the choice of fire curtains is suitable to suit the buildings use.

What steps should be taken to determine the best choice?

Fire Contractors often ask the following questions to determine the best choice of fire curtain for a project:

  • What is the required fire resistance?
  • Do you need to prevent smoke leakage?
  • How many people will be in the building?
  • Will occupants be familiar with the building and be able to freely move around?
  • Do you need to make provision for occupants leaving the building?
  • Do you need to make provision for emergency services entering the building?
  • Is this a like safety or property protection system?

The Group SCS range of fire curtains is a lightweight option of providing 90 minutes’ fire protection, and with the curtain retracting neatly into a compact steel enclosure they also allow unobstructed access through the protected openings when not in use.

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