Fire curtains are a great method to protect an array of properties, stock and people from the spread of fire and smoke. These innovative fire protection devices are made from specialist, non-combustible materials that will deter fire from spreading through doorways and openings, among other gaps in buildings, allowing for safe evacuation if a fire breaks out. Fire curtains must be installed by professionals who will measure your openings to assess what size fire curtains your building will need.
Here at , we are the experts on fire protection and supply a wide stock of important fire protection measures to keep you safe if a fire breaks out. In this blog, we will discuss why fire curtains are so important for the safety of the occupants of your building and the building itself.
How do fire curtains work?
Fire curtains are a great alternative to traditional heavy fire doors and it’s simple to understand the way they function. With buildings that have a more open plan, where fire doors and fire-resistant barriers either can’t be or are difficult to install, fire curtains can be implemented and will automatically deploy when triggered by a local fire alarm or smoke detector. The fire curtain will then descend from the ceiling and seal off the desired opening. Indeed, the fire and smoke will then be unable to pass through the opening thanks to the fire-resistant materials. It is essentially a fire-resistant barrier that stops flames from spreading both vertically and laterally.
The materials that make up a fire curtain include a fire-rated fabric of 0.54 mm thick stainless steel wire which is reinforced with a formulated aluminium pigmented and fire-retardant polymer. These materials are excellent at preventing the spread of fire and smoke for as long as 90 minutes.
What are the benefits of fire curtains?
Fire protection devices need to not only be effectively efficient in protecting against fire and smoke but must be user-friendly – you don’t need to be an expert on passive fire protection devices to know how to use a fire curtain. In fact, you can let the fire curtain do all the work as it will automatically deploy once the fire system has triggered.
Of course, the main benefit of a fire curtain is to help protect a building and the occupants from the spread of flames and smoke, which is extremely harmful when inhaled. When a building becomes engulfed in smoke from a fire, visibility is very limited, therefore, a fire curtain can help to increase visibility when an evacuation is commencing.
Instead of having bulky fire doors and barriers that will spoil the aesthetic of your open plan building, a fire curtain, when not in use, will be virtually invisible to those navigating the building. This makes them ideal for hotel lobbies, retail shops and other buildings with open-plan designs.
Additionally, fire curtains allow properties to follow fire safety laws and regulations. A fire curtain must be tested to adhere to the UK testing certification EN BS 1634-1, which investigates how well fire curtains, and other fire barriers, will protect against the spread of flames and smoke.
Where can you use fire curtains?
Fortunately, fire curtains are designed with very few limitations of where they can be applied. There are a plethora of locations and buildings where fire curtains can be installed including:
- High-rise buildings
- Industrial facilities
As previously mentioned, fire curtains are great for installing in buildings that have an open plan design, which allows them to not only keep the aesthetic that is desired but also allows the building to adhere to fire regulations. Inside these various buildings, fire curtains can be placed in openings and gaps for certain rooms and commercial areas, in addition, to lift shafts and stairways. They are extremely versatile and flexible making them one of the most effective passive structural fire protection devices out there.
How to install and maintain fire curtains?
While operating a fire curtain is typically automatic and doesn’t require any one person to deploy, installing one requires more thought and skill. Installing a fire curtain requires expertise and experience and should only be performed by trained professionals to comply with all relevant codes and standards.
Before the installation process begins, a trained professional will survey the area of the building where the fire curtains are to be placed, taking measurements to ensure the right sized fire curtains can be supplied and installed. Once the measurements have been recorded, the installer will prepare the opening where the curtain will be installed by cleaning and smoothing it over to ensure the fire curtain will properly fit. Guide rails will then be implemented to fit the curtain into place, as well as the motor which will be wired up to the building’s electrical system. The fire curtain will be rolled up and inserted into the guide rail and attached to the motor. When all these steps have been completed, it is essential that the fire curtain is tested to ensure it is functioning properly – this can be achieved by testing the motor, as well as testing the fire resistance of the curtain itself, and a professional will carry out all the checks and tests to guarantee the fire curtain is functioning correctly.
FPC understands the importance of fire curtains
Fire curtains are an important component of passive fire protection systems and can provide an effective means of containing fires and controlling the spread of smoke, reducing inhalation and increasing visibility when evacuating a building and they benefit from being able to be installed in almost any type of building. Fire curtains must be installed by trained professionals to adhere fully to fire safety regulations.
FPC are expert in all things fire protection and has over 30 years of experience in providing simple and effective fire protection solutions across the nation. Get in touch with us today for expertly designed fire curtains and other fire protection products. Call us today on 01384 633 660 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.