Smoke Channeling With Fire & Smoke Curtains

It is often desirable to direct smoke into certain zones for extraction. This is formed using small, rapid drop and often zone controlled banks of curtains. The major requirement for this type of curtain is fast deployment, minimum deflection and a high degree of tolerance to hot smoke. Smoke channels should be installed with consideration given to their intended use in conjunction with large extract systems.

Forming fire compartments requires a curtain to have good levels of Integrity- the I Classification – and low levels of Irradiance of Heat- the W Classification. Curtains installed to form a compartment must be able to provide a physical barrier to the fire and prevent heat flux transfer of levels sufficient to ignite materials either side of the compartment. BLE Curtains provide the highest levels of protection certified fore use around the world.

Smoke compartments are formed to prevent smoke spreading throughout a building. They must be impermeable to smoke leakage within set criteria, but also offer a level of resistance to heat. In particular protection must be provided to the rapid build up in heat caused by hot smoke hitting the barrier, a scenario in which some types of glass will shatter. BLE curtains provide excellent levels of smoke containment as well as high heat resistance.

A number of buildings still utilize an external staircase running down a building to allow escape from each floor. However if the fire is on a lower floor then this means of escape is compromised. The installation of a BLE Curtain with IP rating allows curtains to be installed to the exterior of the windows in the zone of the external escape route providing protection to the stairs from smoke, irradiance of heat and high temperatures as well as naked flames.

There are numerous office blocks and department stores that have impressive open atria designs spanning over many floors. To prevent the spread of smoke and fire from one floor to another and to facilitate the rapid extraction of smoke many of these use a roof level access system complemented by an inlet make up air facility and deployment of BLE Curtains around the perimeter edge. Sophisticated control systems allow for the curtains to facilitate these strategies by employing staged and separate deployments, level by level or even curtain by curtain, with multiple alarm inputs being reacted to.

While BLE Smoke & Fire can offer a smoke sealed curtain for the immediate face of any elevator door this may not suit the building fire strategy. It may be required to create a protected lobby in front of a bank of elevator doors. Where this would previously have required the construction of a physical fire and smoke rated partition, a three sided lobby can now be produced using curtains. Again, when not in use there is not physical impediment or restriction but once required a full integrity and, if required, smoke sealed lobby can be created.