The Importance of Fire Curtains in Schools

fire curtain

Schools are usually designed to have large, open areas like gymnasiums and cafeterias, which makes protecting the school space difficult. Using fire curtains schools can easily create a safe area within large, open rooms that will create safe passages out of the building for occupants without exposure to fire, smoke, or heat. Read more

Building Fire Safety

fire testing lab

The buildings we live and work in all represent a kind of compromise. We want them to be attractive, comfortable, cost-effective, and energy efficient, but we also want them to be safe. Sometimes those objectives can come into conflict.

Faculty members in WPI’s world-renowned Department of Fire Protection Engineering are recognized experts on a wide range of issues related to fire safety in the built environment. Their research and scholarship has focused on such topics as the fire characteristics of the materials we use to make buildings, the practices we follow to design them, the creation of codes and regulations that guide building fire safety, and the actual performance of buildings in fires.

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Car dealership building fire in Santa Clara

building fire santa clara

Smoke Curtain for Flow Path Control

fire control in stairwell

John Ceriello of the FDNY demonstrates two scenarios in which use of a smoke curtain can help control the flow path until firefighters are ready to engage the fire.

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Fire destroyed a huge apartment complex

concord smoke & fire building

COCORD, Calif. — A massive fire destroyed a huge apartment complex under construction in Concord. Two people are injured and hundreds of people living next door have been evacuated. The investigation into the cause is under way.

A lot of work still needs to be done to stabilize the structure. Because of that, fire investigators and a team from the ATF will have to wait a day or two before going in to begin their search for the cause of this fire.

There were two injuries from smoke inhalation. A health advisory for the smoke has been lifted.

The fire consumed practically an entire block of Clayton Road and Galindo Street. Little remains of the complex under construction.

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Alternatives For Fire Doors

Fire doors are necessary but cumbersome item. They are required in a great deal of situations, however they are by nature heavy and restrictive to movement, difficult for small children and the elderly or disabled to open and awkward if carrying bags, pushing prams or operating wheelchairs.

It is therefore commonplace to see these vital parts of a buildings fire strategy wedged open, breaching all compartmentation requirements. A fire curtain can be specified as an alternative offering the same levels of integrity and, if required, additional smoke sealing.

The fire curtain can be recessed within the ceiling and walls, or face fixed depending on customer requirements. It will then remain there hidden, always ready to deploy in a fire situation due to its gravity fail-to-safe method of operation, even when all forms of consumable power are unavailable.

Automatic Smoke Curtains Reduce Smoke Inhalation

777 Aviation Smoke Curtain

Automatic fire rated smoke curtains installed in discreet areas, and deploy automatically during a fire can help block heat and are excellent at blocking smoke from entering the building’s rooms. Due to the natural chimney effect that elevator shafts cause during a fire, automatic fire rated smoke curtains in front of elevators are highly recommended, due to elevator shafts often acting as chimneys, drawing smoke to other floors not currently affected by the fire.

A elevator smoke curtain combined with an elevator door will create the impenetrable assembly required by building codes. Similarly, smoke & fire curtains that block smoke from drifting up or down staircases are also highly effective for similar reasons; such as if the doors can be sealed, less smoke is likely to travel to other areas of the building.

Automatic fire rated curtains and elevator shaft curtains are a must for any building and can greatly reduce smoke inhalation.

Escalators & Stairs With Fire & Smoke Curtains

automatic smoke curtain

Both these items create a permanent breach in the compartment between floors. Using DSI Smoke Curtains this can be tackled in several ways depending on the strategy requirements. Read more

Why Are Smoke & Fire Curtains Important For Elevator Doors?

Elevator shafts are a permanent compartment breach with the potential to spread flames and smoke vertically through a building very rapidly. While most, if not all elevator doors provide a degree of fire integrity this is not the same for smoke sealing. Read more

Protected Means of Escape with a Fire & Smoke Curtains

When considering the placement and provision of a protected means of escape protection from fire and smoke are the paramount consideration. Traditionally a protected means of escape would be along a brick or concrete corridor. Read more