When Are Draft Curtains Required?

Commercial architects and building owners trust draft curtains in their fire protection strategies. Keep reading to learn more about draft curtains.

High-performing smoke and fire protection systems are in demand, and today’s building owners need solutions that will outperform traditional methods of fire protection. Commercial Architects and Building Owners have learned to trust draft curtains in their fire protection strategies because they offer protection to warehouses and larger buildings in ways that other fire containment systems can’t.

Let’s take a look at the solutions that draft curtains provide and where they might meet the required standards for fire protection in your building.

Where Draft Curtains Work Best

Manufacturing warehouses, hangars and other large industrial facilities often have more stringent fire protection requirements when it comes to building safety. Because these facilities house heavy equipment and store a variety of valuable materials, those rigid requirements can also vary a great deal.

When choosing a commercial building fire protection system, designers and building owners need to ensure the materials and products they choose will meet the NFPA 92 standards for smoke control systems. That means meeting code by using high-quality, reliable materials — which is why so many commercial architects choose draft curtains.

Draft curtains by Smoke Guard are smoke curtains specifically designed (and can be customized) for industrial buildings, like warehouses, airplane hangars and manufacturing facilities.

The code-compliant draft curtain comes in a variety of widths, depending on your building’s requirements, with several drop lengths to choose from.

Best Practices for Safety in Bigger Buildings

According to Whole Building Design Guide, larger facilities and warehouses should be designed based on “current and future needs,” and when it comes to fire protection, facility managers need to have a solid strategy in place to accommodate those needs.

Warehouses, hangars and other industrial facilities serve a variety of functions, including storage and manufacturing of materials. The WBDG recommends that large buildings like warehouses need to be “designed with fire protection capacity to accommodate storage of materials with a greater fire hazard.”

To design a safer commercial building, or to enhance your existing smoke and fire protection system, draft curtains offer a few solutions:

  • Draft curtains are effective alone but can be even more effective when paired with the smoke and fire protection solutions you already have in place.
  • Draft curtain installation is easy, and they can be used as a semi-permanent or temporary solution.
  • Draft curtains make evacuation easier for building occupants by removing smoke from affected areas.

Designing for life safety in larger buildings requires an integrated and effective fire and smoke protection strategy. The Smoke Guard Draft Curtain is a passive component in that strategy because the curtain is static, but effectively forces smoke away from the source of fire, then pushes the smoke through a venting system in the roof.

Because draft curtains help to funnel smoke away from evacuation routes and stored materials, they support other fire protection systems and often work more effectively at preventing damage.

Preventing Damage Using Draft Curtains

Using a draft curtain in your fire protection system can help prevent damage in both sprinkler and non-sprinkler facilities.

In a study by the National Fire Protection Agency, using automatic sprinkler systems prevents fire damage effectively in buildings. “When they operate as designed — which occurs in the vast majority of instances — fires almost always remain small, as reflected by the cost of the damage associated with those fires.”

Fire sprinklers help to prevent the spread of fire but sometimes cause excessive water damage to the contents in an industrial building, including costly equipment and other materials in storage. Many facility managers will even steer clear of installing sprinklers because of the water damage it might create.

But with draft curtains in place and a sprinkler system that operates as designed, building owners can prevent more extensive damage during these emergencies. Because a draft curtain pulls smoke away from the source of the fire, sprinkler systems aren’t triggered immediately, which can prevent extensive water damage.

Solutions That Stay Effective

Just like any materials or products you select, it’s important to check that the fire protection systems that are installed are tested regularly, to make sure they’ll function properly in a real emergency, and that includes your smoke curtain system. All products should meet building code and safety requirements, and building owners and facility managers are responsible for the systems installed.

Draft curtains can provide commercial buildings with some of the most effective smoke and fire protection solutions available. By working with fire and safety experts at SG Architectural Specialities, you can rest easy, because you know you’ll get a proven, integrated, code-compliant fire protection solution that works.

If you’re looking for solutions and want to ensure that your building gets the fire protection it requires, SG Specialties can help.

SG Specialties is the exclusive representative for Smoke Guard products in California and Nevada and will help you furnish, install and service your Smoke Guard Draft Curtain, whenever you need an excellent fire or smoke safety solution.