Beginners guide to Fire Curtains

What is a Fire Curtain?

Fire curtains are a mechanised barrier designed to improve fire safety within domestic dwellings or commercial premises.

When fitted correctly, they protect people in the building from smoke and fire while they escape during an emergency evacuation. They also limit the spread of smoke and fire through the building This limits damage to your property while you wait for emergency services to extinguish the fire.

Fire curtains are typically made from a robust material containing fibreglass. They are stored over doors and other openings in a headbox at height. In event of a fire emergency, they are activated automatically by a fire alarm system and descend to the floor. This creates a barrier that delays the spread of fire and smoke.

Our fire curtains can be linked to fire alarm inputs to activate the closing mechanism. These alarms can originate from your fire alarm panel, your smoke detectors or another volt-free input device.

Standard Features

  • Split drop delay up to 15 minutes
  • Audio/visual warning
  • Second knock fire alarm activation
  • Connection to building control system
  • 96-hour battery back-up
  • Automatic reset after alarm activation
  • Emergency retract switch

You can also add alarm voice warning systems, flashing beacons or sirens to indicate that the fire curtain is closing.

Why Use a Fire Curtain?

Fire and smoke are deadly and cause thousands of deaths and injuries every year in the UK. Once a fire begins, it can spread very quickly with the smoke penetrating areas of the building before the flames. Having time to evacuate safety saves lives and prevents injuries.

Fire curtains buy you time in the event of a fire. Using fire curtains means that the occupants of a building stand a better chance of leaving the premises unharmed by smoke or flames.

Modern buildings in particular are often built with a more open plan than older constructions. This means that, should a fire occur, it will spread quickly through the open, oxygen-rich space. Compartmenting larger rooms slows the fire down.

Where can a Fire Curtain be Installed?

Fire curtains are made to be used in doorways and other entrances, rooms and corridors. They can be tailored to fit various spaces, from big to small. Larger curtains can be used to create a barrier across the width of a room or even to create multiple barriers. This doesn’t mean losing space: Fire curtains are rarely noticed before they’re activated and lowered when a fire occurs.

Fire Curtain Testing and Compliance

Fire Resistance Level

Fire curtains are tested and the results are split into three categories:

  • Fire integrity (E) – the curtain’s ability to stop the spread of fire – tested up to 1000 °C – measured in minutes
  • Irradiance performance (W) – the transference of heat produced by the fire and radiated to the non-fire side: How many minutes it takes the heat on the non-fire side to reach 15 kW/m2
  • Thermal insulation (I) – the heat absorbed by the curtain, allowing the non-fire side to be touched by human skin without burning. This is also measured in minutes.

Fire resistance level is rated on a scale of 60 to 240 minutes.

Product Compliance -British Standard BS 8524

BS 8524 is split into two parts: Part 1 is the specification that deals with the thorough testing of the fire curtain itself, Part 2 is the specified Code of Practice that covers correct installation, applications and maintenance.

It’s vital to check that the fire curtain you’re using, or installing, has been awarded BS 8524. This means that the fire curtain has been rigorously tested before sale. Our fire curtains have all been awarded this British Standard, so you can enjoy peace of mind that they’ll do their job properly.

Our Fire Curtain Specifications and Fitting Service

Our fire curtains can be manufactured and installed at any width and with a drop of up to 8 metres. Our bespoke manufacturing service, teamed with our expert installers, means that Ultimate Fire & Smoke Curtains Ltd can create and fit a fire curtain just about anywhere.

When you buy a fire curtain from us, you can rest assured that your fire curtain is third party certified and carry all the relevant test reports that prove their performance. We offer a full service from quote to install and maintenance. Take a look at our range of fire curtains or our fire curtain installation service.

Fire Curtain Servicing

Fire curtains should be serviced every six months to ensure they are working correctly and free from damage. We offer a full maintenance service, which we’ll agree with you on installation.

We guarantee our customers:

  • Only licensed and fully certified maintenance operators and installers will attend your premises
  • A 24-hour response and installation
  • Ongoing telephone advice and support

What to Do Next

Give our expert team a call or drop us an email to discuss your fire safety requirements. We’re happy to talk you through your options and to help you decide if installing fire curtains is the best option for you.

Contact Us Today
Phone: 0191 501 6779
Email: [email protected]
for a free no obligation quote!