The changes in building and home designs, and modern day architecture have certainly helped in creating a better and more open working or living environment. On the flip side, it has given rise to many safety challenges. One major disadvantage of using partitions instead of solid walls in modern architecture is that it has incorporated various fire and smoke safety measures.
Wall structures present within buildings, offices or homes act as a barrier and stop the spread of fire and smoke to other areas within the building. This is a huge help in an easy and hasty evacuation of the occupants. However, in the absence of walls or other barriers, the fire and resulting smoke easily spreads through the whole building and makes the task of evacuation much more challenging. One way of controlling the spread of fire and smoke in a building or home is to use smoke curtains. Although a relatively new technology in the field of fire protection and safety, fire curtains and smoke curtains have certainly proven their worth in such a short period.
Now, more and more commercial and residential buildings in Singapore are using them as an effective measure to curtail the spread of fire and smoke in the event of a fire. They are ideal for commercial as well as residential building with central atria. You can use a smoke curtain in elevator hoistways, atrium separations, and other openings that can encourage the spread of fire and smoke to other parts of the building.
The good thing about these smoke curtains is that they remain completely invisible during fire-free conditions as they remain folded in their boxes overhead. In the event a fire breaks out, these curtains start to descend in a controlled manner. A signal from the fire security system triggers their downward movement and within a matter of seconds, they are able to create a well-defined partition in a fire zone. This prohibits the fire and smoke to escape and spread to other parts of the building.
Protected Means Of Escape
In the event of a fire, the ideal route of escape in a building would be along a brick or concrete corridor. However, the recent advancement in building structural design does not allow for such safe route of escape, under such conditions, using a smoke curtain can provide a protected means of escape.
Since the smoke curtains come in different sizes and with different mounting methods, they can be installed in any area of the building and are suitable for all types of ceiling configurations. A smoke curtain is made of a flexible, heat resistant fabric and is impervious to hot gasses and smoke. It can easily withstand hot air and smoke at temperatures up to 600oC for about 2 hours.