Fire is something that we should take seriously. It does not only harm an establishment but also can harm people. That is why we must use fire barriers which help in compartmentation. These barriers are the fire and smoke curtains. These two are almost the same kind of barrier, but they have different uses and functions.
By the name itself, smoke curtains help prevent the spread of the smoke, while fire curtains help prevent the spread of the fire. These two have an essential role in the smoke control system of every establishment. Owners must secure the functionality of these two barriers. Cleaning and maintenance should be done regularly to ensure that these barriers serve their purpose. Below are some tips on how to clean and maintain fire and smoke curtains.
MAINTENANCE FOR SMOKE AND FIRE CURTAINS
- Experts must inspect smoke and fire barriers. A person who checks fire and smoke curtains must be dedicated and competent enough to check and see if these barriers are operating well and serving their purpose. A person qualified for inspections of the smoke and fire curtains must have a certificate, recognized degree, and professional skilled and experienced worker who has training and experience.
- Observe the global-dedicated standards on installing and maintaining the smoke and fire curtains. NFPA 80 is standard practice on Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives. The National Fire Protection Association published it. Designers and contractors of these fire and smoke barriers must follow the standards written. This standard helps in overseeing the installation as well as the maintenance of smoke and fire curtains.
- After installation, inspectors must test the barriers for modification of opening protectives. Fire and smoke curtains must be within the required specifications. It is also essential to check for obstructions on the sides where the smoke and fire barriers are deployed.
- Take note of the things like walls being moved or removed to the location of the barriers. Remember that changes to the layout of the building or the activities within the area can impact the installed fire and smoke curtains. The protection that these fire and smoke curtains offer may be affected if significant changes are made.
- The smoke and fire barriers must be used at least once a month to ensure that they still function well. Curtains placed on escape routes must be operated weekly.
- When inspecting smoke and fire curtains, always check all the parts, the seals, and their connection to the smoke control systems and their fire alarms.
- Always perform electrical checks on your fire barriers. Professionals must inspect the motor ad battery capacity of the smoke and fire curtains.
- The maintenance staff of the establishment must undergo training on how the system operates. Manufacturers of the smoke and fire curtains must be the ones to give training to the employees.
- Maintenance staff must inspect the sensory detection equipment regularly. It is crucial to know that these things function correctly so that the fire barriers would activate immediately.
- Always log the check-up and maintenance of the smoke and fire curtains, as well as the activities performed. The qualified person who did the inspection should also be responsible for retaining records for review purposes.
CLEANING SMOKE AND FIRE CURTAINS
Cleaning Smoke and fire curtains help ensure their functionality and their length of service. These fire barriers come in different types of fabrics and may contain various coatings, so the way to clean them may differ. Take note that maintenance professionals must only be the ones to clean the smoke and fire curtains to ensure proper management of the items.
For Textile-Based Curtains
- It is essential not to use water. Water can affect the curtain’s coating, compromising its functionality and affecting its strength and resistance to fire and smoke.
- You may use a soft cloth or soft bristle brush. Gently wipe down the surface of the curtain using these items.
- Use pressurized are at low pressure only. Avoid using high pressure since it can destroy the curtain’s coating or even take it out completely.
For Polyimide Film Curtains
- You also cannot use water in cleaning polyimide film curtains. Just wipe the curtain gently with a slightly damp cloth. Do not leave wet streaks or water on the curtains.
- Mild soap can be used to clean the curtains. Before using mild soap, check if the manufacturers approve this as a cleaning agent.
- Never use harsh chemicals and soap. Do not use abrasive cleaners and harsh chemicals in cleaning the curtains. The strong chemicals in these cleaners can deteriorate the coating of the film curtains.