Fire safety in the home, whilst being of the utmost importance, is something that, unfortunately, not all households uphold. The consequences of this negligence can and does result in tragically preventable deaths. For example, last year alone more than 200 people died in domestic fires. One preventative solution here is the installation of fire resistant curtains.
What are Fire Resistant Curtains?
Electronically operated smoke and fire resistant curtains are designed to prevent and control the movement of smoke, fire and heat around a building. This is achieved by replacing the non-load bearing walls that act to compartment an area to allow for safe evacuation from the building.
From our bespoke concertina curtain installed in Apple’s Shanghai flagship store, to our unique SmokeStop™ curtain that protects York Minster, to the complex compartmentation system in Adidas superstore in Paris and to domestic properties up and down the country, we’ve developed a wide range of BS EN certified smoke curtains and fire curtains that work with every building, in every possible application.
The Benefits of Fire Curtains: Safe Open-Plan Living
Fire curtains offer both business owners and homeowners a whole host of safety benefits. They protect a building and its assets as well as its inhabitants, staff, and visitors from toxic smoke and deadly heat. These highly resistant curtains have recently also impacted greatly on design:
Traditionally, designers and architects have had difficulty reconciling open plan buildings with fire safety regulations. These regulations state that all properties must provide a clear means of escape and a way of restricting smoke and fire in order to control its spread. As open plan design involves the removal of walls working as fire and smoke barriers, an alternative replacement is required.
This is proving to be a growing problem as commercially open space plans are integral to the functioning of many buildings e.g. Theatres and museums, whilst domestically open plan living has become a highly coveted lifestyle for today’s modern family. This is where fire curtains come in:
Fire curtains provide a check-all solution due to their agile, lightweight and robust nature. They are able to offer compartmentation and acceptable boundary protection, whilst remaining discreetly hidden. Fire resistant curtains remain out of sight in the ceiling and/or above a window, from where they automatically deploy in the event of a fire.
Fire Resistant Curtains: Where can they be used?
Fire curtains are far lighter than traditional fire safety products. As explained above, this allows them to afford greater design freedom to architects. Consequently, fire resistant curtains are suitable for a whole range of applications and have been installed in all sorts of buildings. Commercial centres, cultural builds, and domestic properties all benefit from these protective curtains.
Because of their ability to divide large open spaces, close openings in walls and corridors, protect stairwells and entrances and provide a safe and clear means of escape, they are the perfect domestic safety solution.
However, before a fire curtain meets current fire safety legislation, it must be protected against the effects of short circuits and power failures. In the majority of fire and smoke barrier systems, this comes in the form of an electro-mechanical fail-safe system, such as our Total Gravity Fail-Safe system. Coopers Fire was the original patentee for this type of mechanism, which set the global benchmark for smoke barriers.
Domestic Example: The Village Balgowlah, Australia
The Village Balgowlah in Australia is a unique case study. This is because it is a mixed use development comprising of commercial, retail and domestic buildings. The network of commercial offices and 234 luxury apartments are serviced by a network of elevators and stairwells that lead down to a common basement car park area.
Coopers Fire was initially approached to help protect the building, its multiple offices and apartments from smoke channelling up via lift shafts and protecting stairwells to ensure a safe means of escape in the event of a fire.
Coopers manufactured, installed and commissioned a system of Vii®Fire S fire and smoke curtain barriers. These were designed to protect lift doors with the aim of minimising any smoke migration in the event of a fire and to control the spread of the flames.
The VII Fire S fire and smoke curtains have been specially developed to provide up to 2 hours of smoke and fire resistance. This is a greater level of protection when compared to other leading and commonly used fire protection systems.
Fire brigade intervention emergency retract buttons were installed either side of the lift openings. These provide occupants with a means of temporarily raising the fire and smoke curtains to allow for safe evacuation from within the lift.
Coopers Fire worked with the build’s fire engineer to meet rigid regulations. Coopers provide effective fire and smoke control strategies that will protect occupants from the harmful effects of both.
Furthermore, Coopers Vii®Fire S fire and smoke curtain barriers were sympathetically created to provide a visually pleasing finish.
Coopers Fire are industry leaders in providing, designing, installing and servicing fire curtains and smoke curtains. We can offer bespoke services and design a smoke or fire resistant curtain that completely meets your desired plans.
If you would like to discuss what products would suit your domestic situation, or if you require a more bespoke solution to protect your family and ensure fire safety in your home, please visit our website, contact page or products pages.