How Do Draft Curtains Work?

For industrial buildings with larger square footage, like airplane hangars and plants, draft curtains offer a solution for code-compliant smoke protection.

Building owners and facility managers know that larger commercial buildings have specific, often rigid, requirements when it comes to fire and smoke protection. For industrial buildings with larger square footage, like airplane hangars and plants, draft curtains offer a solution for code-compliant smoke protection.

While you may know that draft curtains are highly suggested as a solution to smoke protection, do you know how they actually work in a warehouse design? Or how they provide sufficient fire and smoke protection for larger spaces? Keep reading to find out.

How Draft Curtains Help With Fire Protection

During a fire, smoke spreads and rises to fill the space above it. In expansive spaces, like a warehouse or plant, smoke needs to be channeled out of the structure so that it doesn’t make the fire spread or cause excessive damage. Draft curtains help to redirect this funnel of smoke (also called a ceiling jet) away from the fire.

The curtains keep the smoke from spreading freely and instead help ensure that it’s pushed out of the building, usually through exhaust fans or mechanical vents. Removing smoke prevents damage to anything stored inside the building, and will also help to delay any water sprinkler activation.

Water from sprinklers can extinguish flames but is often the cause of extensive damage after a fire. If there are any expensive pieces of equipment near a sprinkler system, the damage costs can add up quickly.

Using a draft curtain can prevent the sprinklers from activating in areas where items are stored or employees might be evacuating. This delayed sprinkler onset system can reduce water damage during a fire emergency, and also gives building occupants plenty of time to leave the building safely.

Working With Draft Curtains In Your Design

Fires are the cause of millions in dollars in warehouse damage each year, so life safety requirements have become more stringent in local building codes. That’s especially true “with the specific challenges influenced by the characteristics of a given warehouse,” according to the NFPA.

“Warehouses pose substantial challenges for fire protection due to their building layouts, storage configurations and technologies, ceiling heights, and types of commodities stored,” writes the NFPA.

But draft curtains can make up a part of a successful smoke management system that offers protection and cost-effective solutions.

The SG Draft curtain is efficient when it comes to smoke control, helps to prevent property damage and will work within your building’s existing smoke protection system. Working with Smoke Guard products also offers the following benefits:

  • SG Architectural Specialties will help you install the curtain in your existing design.
  • The curtains can be removed during renovations if you need a temporary solution and still want access to beams or girders.
  • An integrated fire protection system is the most effective type, so the SG Draft works with other smoke control features, such as exhaust fans, to make this a high-performing smoke protection system.

Choosing Draft Curtains for Your Smoke Control System

Manufacturing plants and aircraft hangars need fire and smoke protection that meets rigid requirements.

The SG Draft curtain gives building owners a passive component in an integrated fire suppression system. The curtain acts as a cost-effective solution for fire protection and can be custom-manufactured to fit the size of your space. The code-compliant curtain can be installed in buildings of any size, since they’re available in unlimited widths, with a drop length of 15 feet.

Made from a smoke- and fire-resistant fiberglass material, the lightweight SG Draft curtain helps redirect smoke away from the source of fire. The curtain is an effective solution in warehouses that need an enhanced fire protection system.

The Best in Building Protection

More than 1,000 warehouse fires are called into fire departments each year, causing an annual average of $155 million in damage, along with occupant injuries. The amount of damage caused by fires each year has led to a rise in innovative smoke protection products like SG Draft.

Architects and designers need a solution that will meet rig­or­ous code require­ments, won’t be a pain to install and doesn’t detract from their building’s design. SG Architectural Specialties works with customers to find the most cost-efficient and effective solution, and services include preventative maintenance, curtain replacement and testing.

By working with an expe­ri­enced team of professionals, building owners everywhere can enhance the fire protection in their space with product solutions like the SG Draft from Smoke Guard.

Let us help you design a safe and beautiful commercial building, no matter what your space requires. You can contact us here, or check out these other projects for ideas.

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