Atrium Separation in Health Care: Part 2

Depending on the type of health care building, it may be important to have a more active smoke management system in place than just deployable smoke curtains.

Certain areas of hospitals can contain flammable elements or have patients that need assistance in evacuating the building. For these areas, smoke management systems need to not only contain smoke and fire, but also provide more of a buffer zone.

An active smoke management system typically includes a smoke exhaust or evacuation system. It utilizes mechanical equipment to control the spread of smoke. Furthermore, exhaust vents near the ceiling removes smoke at a rate that allows people to safely evacuate the building.

Designing a smoke exhaust systems takes a little more engineering work than just a smoke containment system. An active smoke management system must be properly engineered to be able to handle the size of the atrium to be the most effective.

Most active smoke management systems are installed in conjunction to a more passive system. For example, flexible fire-rated curtains are often deployed to quarantine an area and then the exhaust system kicks in.