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Choosing between a Smoke Curtain and a Fire Curtain

The Fireguard Smoke Curain HS120 is a new product from HAG that has already been installed in high profile buildings such as the MARCUS restaurant in Knightsbridge. There are subtle differences between the HS120 and the Fireguard Curtain HF240 that will affect which one is the more suitable choice for your property.

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Basics of Smoke Curtain HS120

The silicone coated fibreglass fabric of the HS120 swells when heated to create a fire resistant surface that is impermeable to air, heat and smoke. Side guide rails are optional – overlapping with the surrounding wall rather than creating a strong seal with guide rails allows the curtain to remain passable. This can be a real asset in that it keeps the temperature down inside the escape corridor.

Basics of Fire Curtain HF240

The HF240 curtain is formed from glass fabric reinforced with stainless steel wire in steel guides that provides up to four hours fire integrity. They do not usually have quite the same easy access properties as a smoke curtain because the focus is more on preventing the spread of fire. The advantage over a heavier fire shutter is that it is more aesthetically pleasing – it hides neatly in a box housing above doors or hatches and is very inconspicuous until it is in use.

When is a Smoke Curtain a Better Choice?

Anywhere there is a strong need for an escape route if a fire breaks out – so separating a kitchen from the dining room in a restaurant or school, or a department store café from the rest of the store. Escape routes from offices, warehouses etc. may also benefit from a smoke curtain.

When is a Fire Curtain a Better Choice?

Kitchen hatches are the ideal place for a fire curtain as access isn’t very likely to be needed during a fire. Although they can be designed to be accessible, generally speaking the better choice for escape routes or very busy areas would be a smoke curtain. Also ideal in certain situations for offices or schools.

Other considerations

Training is also a very important part of minimising the risk of injury if a fire breaks out. HAG recommends discussing your fire awareness training needs with 1st Attendance to ensure your fire plan is adequate.

This isn’t a full guide to which type of curtain is right for you, as each building and industry has unique variables to take into consideration. It’s possible that curtains will not provide the right protection – if your industry has a high-risk of fire, or if your building contains valuables, it may be worth considering one of HAG’s fireproof steel doors for example. For advice on which type of fire protection is right for you, contact HAG on 0800 072 3444.

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