building fire santa clara
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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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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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.

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.

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

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

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

Smoke & Fire Curtains

While we have discussed the benefits of fire and smoke curtains in the past when referring to fire and smoke protection options for atriums, it is important to note that fire and smoke curtains have a wide variety of other applications as well.

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In recent years it has been a trend in modern design to open up atriums in order to let in more natural light, maximize the openness of interior space, and reduce energy costs. Read more