Large building complexes pose special challenges for specialist planners when segmenting individual fire compartments. Building regulations, insurance requirements, valid standards and guidelines must be adhered to, but the appearance should not be disturbed by fire protection equipment.
In order to close necessary openings in walls and ceilings in the event of fire, fire protection curtains (or smoke protection curtains) are increasingly being used. The aim is to limit smoke and flames to the actual area of origin. The use of different fabrics in folding or unwinding technology enables a wide range of applications. Ceiling, wall and reveal assemblies are possible.
Benefits of fire curtains
The massive fire protection doors mostly used in the production areas of large-scale industry are rarely in harmony with sophisticated architecture. In order to implement open room concepts, for example in office wings and shopping centers, architects and builders are now looking for other solutions to implement the fire protection requirements of the protection concepts.
Fire curtains can offer a creative and inexpensive alternative. Even in complicated installation situations, these systems offer a good design variant thanks to their low installation heights, flexibility and their discreet visual integration. They can be installed almost invisibly in new buildings. They are sometimes also suitable for dividing and protecting individual sensitive building areas within a fire compartment.
Execution of fire protection curtains
In the event of a fire, the smoke protection curtain extends to a previously calculated area and forms a room boundary towards the ceiling of the building. Smoke and hot fire gases are trapped in it and the flow into other smoke zones is counteracted.
The fire curtain is a similar concept. With a previously defined fire resistance, the spread of a fire can also be prevented for a certain period of time. The systems are designed even for extreme temperatures over a period of at least 120 to 180 minutes.
According to the product standard DIN EN 16034, fire protection curtains are classified in different levels. The European classes according to DIN EN 13501-2 are:
- E = Room closure
- EW = Room closure with reduced heat radiation
- EI = Room closure with an insulating effect
Depending on the structural design, these systems, according to their classified fire resistance properties, also meet the requirements of the building inspection regulations for fire-retardant, highly fire-retardant or fire-resistant properties.
How fire curtains work
The textile curtain fabric of a vertically closing fire protection curtain is rolled up in a housing box, comparable to a roller blind. The system is activated via a central fire alarm system, internal fire alarms or emergency pushbuttons. The curtain moves into its sealing position by means of gravity. The self-closing function is also ensured in the event of a power failure in the case of electric motor-controlled fire protection closures. Due to the different types of fabric, fire curtains can be made for indoor and outdoor use.
Obligations of the operator
The fire or smoke protection curtain must be checked for functionality at least once a month by the operator on his own responsibility by appropriately trained personnel. The results are to be entered in a test book. The operator must keep the test book.
Answers to fire curtains
What is a fire curtain?
Fire protection curtains are textile fire protection barriers that keep fire and smoke out for a certain period of time and thus make escape and rescue routes accessible for longer.
What does EW 90 mean, for example?
EW stands for room closure with reduced heat radiation. 90 means 90 minutes, which means that in the event of a fire, the fire curtain would keep the fire section clear for at least 90 minutes and people would have time to use the escape routes to escape.
Where are fire curtains mostly used?
Textile fire protection curtains are often used in areas where design and the feeling of space play an important role. This includes, for example, hotels, restaurants, department stores or offices. A fire curtain instead of a fire door can also be useful in confined spaces.
How often do fire curtains have to be serviced?
Fire curtains must be serviced once a year. This includes a visual inspection, a check of the electronics and a functional test according to the manufacturer's specifications.
Maintenance of fire curtains
Fire curtains must function properly and reliably in the event of a fire. For this reason, maintenance with visual inspection, checking of the electronics and a functional test according to the manufacturer's specifications by a fire protection company such as CWS Fire Safety are required once a year. The results are to be documented.
Our qualified fire protection service technicians are happy to take over the regular maintenance of your curtain systems.
Use fire protection curtains in a compliant manner
Whether the installation of fire protection curtains is an option should always be considered as part of a holistic fire protection concept and in coordination with the building supervisory authority and the property insurer. Our fire safety experts and experts are experienced in planning and execution. We are happy to advise you and your project from start to finish.