Fire is something that comes unpredictably. It may happen any time, anywhere, especially when you are not mindful of your actions. This is why smoke curtains and fire curtains come in handy. They help protect not only the people but also the establishments from the harmful impacts of the fire.
Smoke curtains and fire curtains are two similar but different kinds of barriers. They are kind of similar in appearance, and they also have almost the same way of operating. However, smoke curtains and fire curtains have different functions. This is why it is not wise to substitute one type for the other because it will not serve its purpose.
WHAT IS A SMOKE CURTAIN?
A smoke curtain has an integral role in the smoke control system of any establishments. One of its functions is to stop the smoke from spreading into another place. Smoke curtains can also channel the smoke into a particular exhaust point (which can be by powered or natural ventilation.) These curtains maintain a higher temperature in the area that has smoked, allowing the smoke to ascend to the smoke extraction points. They usually place smoke curtains just above the head height, and they do not descend on the lower ground level. That way, it would not be a hindrance on the means of escaping.
There are two kinds of smoke curtains, fixed and automatic. Fixed curtains are made of a lightweight fabric, firmly secured along the edges. On the other hand, automatic smoke curtains also have similar material, and they are bundled up with a motorized roller.
Smoke curtains are expected to withstand a temperature of 600 degrees celsius. It could hold out against elevated temperatures, but they are not resistant to fire. In simple terms, smoke curtains are made to keep areas like escape routes free from the smoke but not from fire.
WHAT IS A FIRE CURTAIN?
A fire curtain’s principal purpose is to provide areas with compartmentation that is provided usually by doors and walls. It helps separate fire between two spaces in an establishment. A fire curtain can help in protecting an open stairway to allow access to the designated escape routes. Aside from that, it can also help prevent the fire from traveling from one place to another.
Fire curtains are automatic, so when activated, they drop down to the floor level and then, they fit with side guides. When this happens, the openings in the area are closed off completely. It is necessary to keep any obstruction away from the section where the fire curtain descends.
Since a fire curtain has exposure to the fire, the materials need to be sturdy. The glass fiber material that’s woven needs to include a stainless steel filament so that the curtain will be more robust and can hold out against high temperatures. A fire curtain can supposedly withstand a temperature of 1000 degrees celsius.
In simple terms, fire curtains can help people in many ways. First, it can give people extra time to evacuate the area. Another is that it secures the escape routes from being damaged by the fire. Fire curtains also help in stopping the spread and development of fire. Lastly, they help in protecting the building from further damage caused by the fire.
WHEN SHOULD YOU USE A FIRE OR A SMOKE CURTAIN?
These two types of curtains vary in function. A smoke curtain allows access to clear areas, so it is ideal in a kitchen from the dining area or in a restaurant from the rest of the stores inside the mall. Since a fire curtain is designed to contain a fire, it cannot be that accessible. A kitchen hatch is a perfect place to put a fire curtain since it is unnecessary for an escape route. Fire curtains can be ideal in specific areas of schools and offices.
Remember that these two types of curtains are not interchangeable. They have specific functions that are used in different situations. It is crucial to be certain of what kind of curtain is needed and where to use it. Fire curtains help avoid the spread of fire, while smoke curtains help stop only the spread of the smoke. If these items are used as a substitute for one another, they may not serve their correct purpose and may bring danger to the people and the establishments.
Both of these curtains help in the architectural flexibility of an establishment. They are also crucial in the fire safety strategy of an institution. So either way, you must know the difference between fire curtains and smoke curtains and where to use them so that you are entirely safe and protected.