As a business owner and employer, you have certain legal and moral duties when it comes to risk mitigation in the workplace. A significant element of this consists of implementing control measures that protect against fire hazards.
From evacuation drills to alarm maintenance, there are multiple considerations that you need to be aware of. Here, we look at the important role played by fire and smoke curtains in the case that your building experiences a fire.
What are fire and smoke curtains?
Fire and smoke curtains are coverings that can be used strategically in the event of a fire to slow the spread of fire and smoke in a building. There are some key differences between fire curtains and smoke curtains that it’s important to be aware of.
Smoke curtains are designed to channel smoke away from common areas, to help people to escape in case there’s a fire. As they’re only designed for smoke, not fire, they tend to be heat resistant up to temperatures of 600 C. They don’t normally go all the way down to floor level when they’re activated – they tend to hang above head height.
Fire curtains can be used instead of other, fixed fire safety elements. They tend to hang out of sight, and will drop if a fire alarm goes off. They’re designed to be more fire-resistant than smoke curtains, and will often be strategically placed to allow people to escape via certain routes.
Fire safety regulations
One important reason that your business should have fire and smoke curtains is to meet fire safety regulations. If your building is not already compliant with the relevant safety standards and you don’t want to construct solid, permanent structures like walls and doors, then fire and smoke curtains can offer a creative solution to meeting the relevant legislation.
It’s important to ensure that your fire curtains comply with BS 8524-1:2013, and that your smoke curtains comply with BS EN 12101-1. If you’re unsure whether your curtains are currently compliant, contact LBS Group, who will be able to advise on whether or not you need a new solution.
Protect your assets
While your primary duty is to protect the lives of those who spend time in your building, it’s also important that you protect your assets. Fire curtains can significantly slow the spread of fire, increasing the chances that the fire services will be able to arrive before your whole property is destroyed. You can have additional fire curtains placed to strategically protect extra valuable areas and assets.
Compared to other solutions, fire and smoke curtains are almost invisible. They can be stored in small spaces in the ceiling, only deployed in the event there’s a fire. For spaces where aesthetic concerns are important, they represent a great solution to fire safety concerns while maintaining an open space.
Clearly, there are multiple benefits to fire and smoke curtains. From saving lives to protecting your material assets, if you don’t already have them installed, it’s certainly worth looking into.
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