What is a Fire Curtain?
Similar in basic design to a roller shutter, a fire curtain comprises a fabric made of heavyweight glass fibre, reinforced with stainless steel wire and coated with a formulated fire retardant aluminium pigmented polyurethane coating. Specialist control systems allow a curtain to descend via a 24 volt gravity fail safe motor to compartmentalise a building. As well as a control panel which gives the fire curtain the ability for single descent or descend partially hold and continue descent, additional functionality can be achieved with the installation of egress switches, access switches, and single and double beam obstruction warnings. Light curtain obstruction warnings are also available. All of these ancillary products are tested in accordance with BS 8524-1, specifically Annex H. Relevant standards for a fire curtain are EN BS 1634-1 (2014)under testing as active fire barriers or BS 8524-1 which adds to the fire performance standards of BS 1634. A1S has completed 16 seperate tests under BS 8524. A fire curtain can be horizontal or more commonly vertical. A fire curtain can be either face fixed or reveal fixed but the structure into which a fire curtain is fitted cannot have a fire rating of less than the fire curtain. A1S group fire curtains provide 120 minutes integrity against flaming and hot gases and can achieve radiation ratings of either 85 minutes at 15kw/m2 or 120 minutes at 15 kw/m2 and as such are classified as either EW 60 or EW 120.
What is a Fire and Smoke Curtain?
In the UK at least, this is the common term for a fire curtain with smoke seals. Do not confuse this with a fire curtain with smoke control, all fire curtains give a degree of smoke control but this is not the same as a fire curtains AND smoke curtain. A fire curtain and smoke curtain will have smoke seals and must have been tested to BS 476-31.1 or BS EN 1634-3 2004 and in accordance with BS 8524-1. (See also, testing for fire curtain And smoke curtain information below.)
What is fire resistance?
Fire resistance of fire curtains is measured in the following 3 ways.
i) Integrity, which is the resistance to actual fire or flame penetration and the penetration of hot gases. Fire integrity is given the symbol E, so the Flameshield E120 Fire Curtain by A1S has a two hour integrity rating.
ii) Radiation refers to the emission of energy in rays or waves and is often associated with heat flux. The classification measures the time required for the unexposed side of the fire curtain to reach 15KW/M². Mostly combined with integrity the symbol is given as W and so a fire curtain EW60 will provide one hour fire integrity AND radiation control. (See also Radiation Tenability and Fire Curtains)
iii) Insulation with the symbol I is the ability of the fire curtain when exposed to fire on one side, to restrict the temperature rise of the unexposed face to below specified levels.
However, Specifiers, PLEASE NOTE that without the use of sprinklers, no UK manufacturer currently offers a fire curtain with an EI rating.
British Standard copyright prohibits the copying and publication of standards so to discuss fire curtains and insulation values in the UK, August 2018, email - firstname.lastname@example.org directly with your enquiry or see BS 8524-1 2013, page 2.04, page 12 5.6.3 and BS 8524-2, page 13 Notes 5.3.1
Fire Curtain Cost?
1) Fire Curtain Cost for Supply and Installation. This is a commonly asked questions. Fire Curtain Cost? You will be pleased to know that the A1S Group are always competitive when it comes to fire curtain cost. Our wholly owned manufacturing sites based in the North West provide econonomies of scale that give us industry leading price points. To calculate a fire curtain or fire and smoke curtain cost, our estimating team will need your fire curtain dimensions, required fire curtain performance (integrity and radiation), ancillary requirements, (i.e. egress switches, obstruction warnings, stand alone smoke and heat alarms), and your site address and we will provide you with a same day quotation. If you want to provide a fire strategy or specification to allow us to discern requisite British Standard, even better, our compliance team will work with estimation to make sure you have exactly the right product for your project. It is impossible to give a generic fire curtain cost because of the sheer number of variables.
The good news is that the A1S Group will beat any genuinely verified like for like supply and installation price in the UK for a BS 8524 fire curtain quotation if accompanied with a fire strategy. This fire curtain price offer is available for the remainder of 2018.
2) Supply Only
Likewise our economies of scale, (A1S currently manufacture approximately 25% of all UK installed fire curtains) and this allows us to maintain low fire curtain price points throughout our UK and Export range. From time to time we hold additional fire curtain cost offers for our valued Supply Only or Export customers.
What is the weight of a fire curtain?
Approximately 22 kg per linear metre which includes the motor, box, fabric and bottom rail.
Are your fire curtains and smoke curtains compliant with Building Regulations?
In a nutshell yes. The A1S Group has successfully tested and passed all relevant testing for the manufacture of fire curtains and smoke curtains in the UK. The 2013 British Standard of BS 8524-1 is the only global fire standard and is the only standard that is recommended in BS 9999 2017, Fire Safety in the design, management and use of buildings - code of practice. The guidance in this document is absolutely unambiguous. Fire curtains should be tested and installed in accordance with BS 8524-1 and BS 8524-2. A1S continues to manufacture and install fire and fire curtains and smoke curtains to the previous and still harmonised European Standards of EN BS 1634-1 or EN BS 1634-3 (which confusingly) form part of the required BS 8524-1 standard, however any project at RIBA stage 3 after 01 January 2017 which is considered a complex building should specify fire curtains and smoke curtains to the new British Standard.
What is a smoke curtain?
Usually constructed without guides, a smoke curtain is designed to channel smoke in the event of a fire and generally works in conjunction with a building's ventilation system. They have a UK testing standard of BS 12101-1 + A1. As a note, a smoke curtain is completely different to a fire curtains AND smoke curtain.
Smoke curtains rarely descend to finished floor level and do not utilise side guides.
What testing is required to make fire curtains smoke compliant to the mandatory Sa classification?
Fire curtains must be subject to air leakage tests in accordance with BS EN 1634-3:2014. The guidance for this comes from Approved Document B, Vol 2. which requires the additional classification Sa. The Sa classification specified within EN BS 13501-2:2007 requires that the maximum leakage rate measured at ambient temperature, and at a pressure of up to m25 Pa, does not exceed 3m³/h per metre length of gap between the fixed and moveable components of the doorset (e.g. between the fabric curtain and the side guides and the top box), excluding leakage at the threshold. The Flameshield 120 achieved an air leakage rate of 2.69m³/h per metre well below permissible levels. This test to EN BS 1634-3 is absorbed and referenced as part of A1S's new British Standard for fire curtains.