Automatically deployed flexible fabric curtains can provide vertical barriers at the atrium edges. Historically, they have been used in conjunction with smoke exhaust systems, or in some cases as a stand-alone passive solution for smoke control.
In these applications, they are deemed to be providing supplemental fire protection, not structural fire protection, given that smoke control systems are supposed to operate for at least twenty minutes or 1.5 times the calculated egress time from the facility, whichever is less, in supporting egress from the building.
More recently, horizontal curtains are being used to divide atrium spaces into two story segments, satisfying the smoke control requirement for three story or higher atrium designs. Smoke Guard’s Model 3000 offers exceptional quality and design in horizontally deploying fire curtains.
For the purposes of smoke control, smoke rated curtains are being used to horizontally divide a vertical smoke control zone (atrium space) rather than serving as extensions of the floor itself. Dividing the atrium into two floor segments limits the ability of migrating smoke to move to other floors, and supports the purpose of the smoke control system to support egress from the building.