Enhancing Fire Safety: A Comprehensive Guide to Fire Curtains in the UK

This article discusses the essential fire safety systems that are designed to prevent the spread of fire and smoke in buildings, including the types of systems, installation, maintenance guidelines, UK legislation and compliance, leading manufacturers, and cost considerations.

What Are Fire Curtains?

Smoke & fire curtains are essential safety systems that are designed to prevent the spread of fire and smoke in buildings, especially those with larger openings where it isn’t possible to use fire doors. They are specially engineered fire and smoke protection barriers that play a crucial role in protecting both lives and property by containing fire and smoke and allowing occupants the time to evacuate safely. Fire curtains are active fire barriers that are commonly found in high-traffic commercial environments such as airports, shopping centres, and commercial buildings, and they are a proactive measure to enhance fire safety and adhere to compliance with fire reform regulations.

NECO Fire Gard’s active fire curtains are becoming a popular option among global construction and fire safety specialists due to their discreet, lightweight, and easily concealable nature.

Beyond just being aesthetically pleasing, our fire curtains at NECO Fire Gard are also highly efficient, economical, and environmentally friendly, making them a better option for containing fires than more conventional firewalls and doors.

At NECO Fire Gard, we can make an existing building safe from both fire and smoke, or we can work with architects, designers, and building control to seamlessly integrate our tailor-made, 24v DC motor-installed curtains, equipped with gravity failsafe technology, to provide exceptional smoke, heat, and fire protection. Our smoke & fire curtains have passed stringent testing procedures and are a reliable 4-hour fire barrier, establishing a new benchmark for fire safety that no other manufacturer can claim.

As an example, the installation of smoke & fire curtains in a busy shopping centre means that in the event of a fire, the automatic smoke and fire curtains deploy, creating a protective barrier that restricts the spread of both. This containment measure not only ensures the safe emergency evacuation of people inside but also minimises damage to the shopping centre’s structure and assets, enabling a swift recovery after a fire or smoke incident.

Smoke & fire curtains not only effectively stop the spread of fire, but they can also significantly lessen the harm that smoke inhalation causes to a building’s occupants. By installing a smoke curtain as well, you are protecting the occupants of a building from both. Inhaling toxic smoke contributes to more fire-related deaths than actual fires across the world.
Toxic smoke is released during the burning of any combustible material and is extremely harmful if inhaled. Therefore, installing both fire and smoke curtains provides much higher protection to the occupants of a building.

The integration of smoke curtains along with fire curtains ensures that smoke is controlled, giving individuals efficient evacuation time. Smoke curtains create a barrier that limits the movement and spread of smoke while containing it while a building is evacuated. Fire and smoke curtains play a vital role in the fire safety measures of a building, especially in large buildings with multiple floors, large open areas, and smaller compartmentalised areas.

You can find out more about the different fire and smoke products we supply and install here, as well as some of the projects we have recently worked on.

What are the different types of Fire Curtains?

Active fire curtains and passive fire curtains are two primary types of fire curtains used in buildings to enhance fire safety measures.

Active fire curtain barriers are designed to deploy automatically upon detecting a fire alarm signal, swiftly creating a barrier to contain fire and smoke.

Passive fire protection curtains are fixed in place and require manual deployment during a fire incident to prevent the spread of fire.

Automatic smoke curtains are specifically engineered to control the movement of smoke and stop the spread of smoke within a building, facilitating safe and faster evacuation for occupants.

Automatic or Active Fire Curtains

Automatic fire curtains are integrated with advanced fire detection systems to ensure rapid deployment in the event of a fire alert. These cutting-edge systems are designed to close automatically, restricting the movement of fire and smoke to safeguard escape routes and prevent the escalation of the fire. By compartmentalising areas within a building, automatic fire curtains enhance overall fire safety measures, providing valuable time for safe occupant evacuation, and for emergency services to respond and manage the fire efficiently before it takes hold, injures people, and damages the property and anything contained within it, enabling a quicker property and business recovery post-fire incident.

Fire Curtain: UK Legislation and Compliance

In the United Kingdom, stringent legislation mandates that fire curtains must adhere to British and European regulations to ensure that safety standards are met. Building owners bear the responsibility of ensuring that fire curtains are correctly installed and maintained in compliance with these regulations to enhance fire safety within their premises. Compliance with legislation is imperative for safeguarding lives and property in the event of a fire emergency.

Our position as one of the UK leaders in fire curtain technology is strengthened as NECO Fire Gard proudly satisfies the demanding requirements of both sections of the BS 8524 standard.

Fire safety regulations in the UK are continuously evolving to adapt to new technologies and enhance building safety standards. Building owners and managers must stay informed about these changes to ensure that their smoke and fire curtains comply with the latest requirements. Regular updates and training on compliance with fire safety regulations are essential to maintaining a safe environment for building occupants and preventing potential risks associated with non-compliance.

We are experts in fire safety regulations and compliance, and our team can advise you on how to meet the rigorous fire regulations when it comes to fire and smoke barrier systems in the UK. Call us at +44 2920 668332, or use our contact page to arrange a no-obligation review.

Fire Curtain Installation and Maintenance Guidelines

Expert installation of smoke & fire curtains by qualified professionals is essential to ensure their correct positioning and functionality, resulting in maximum effectiveness in containing fires and smoke. Regular maintenance checks are crucial in ensuring that installed fire and smoke curtains remain operational and compliant with safety standards. Maintenance services include tasks such as battery replacements, wiring inspections, and provisions for emergency call-outs in case of malfunctions.
Regular maintenance of smoke & fire curtains is essential to ensuring their proper functionality during a fire or smoke emergency. Maintenance schedules should be planned based on the manufacturer’s recommendations and industry best practices to guarantee the reliability of fire curtains. The recommendation is twice a year due to the importance of these systems. By adhering to a structured maintenance plan, building owners can enhance the lifespan of their fire curtains and ensure the safety of occupants in the event of a fire or smoke incident.

Fire Curtain Repair

Reputable companies like NECO Fire Gard offer comprehensive repair and maintenance services for fire safety systems, including smoke and fire curtains. Service engineers will level the curtains and perform a variety of electrical checks in addition to examining the security of the fasteners, mechanical components, and connections to other systems, such as the fire alarm and smoke control systems.

All regular fire checks and fire curtain servicing should be recorded and logged. Entrusting the repair and maintenance of fire and smoke curtains to an experienced provider like ourselves is crucial for optimal performance, safety, and compliance with safety regulations.

Contact us today to arrange your fire curtain repair, service, or maintenance check.

In a commercial building where fire curtains are a vital component of the fire safety system, qualified engineers from a reputable company like ourselves at NECO Fire Gard should be used for any repairs that are needed. Through meticulous inspection and repair work, our engineers will ensure that the fire curtain is repaired and restored to its full technical specifications and performance standards, maintaining the building’s fire safety standards and protecting both its occupants and assets.

Leading fire safety companies provide tailored repair and maintenance services to ensure the optimal performance of fire curtains. These services include regular inspections (recommended twice a year), emergency call-outs, and compliance checks to guarantee that fire curtains meet safety standards. By engaging with reputable service providers, building owners can enhance the reliability of their fire safety systems and create a safer environment for occupants.

Fire Curtain Cost Considerations and Factors

The size of the curtain, the calibre of the materials used, and the complexity of the installation all have an impact on how much it will cost to install a fire curtain in the UK. Obtaining quotes from multiple manufacturers and suppliers can assist building owners in comparing costs and selecting a suitable fire curtain option within their budget constraints. Investing in high-quality fire curtains is a proactive measure that enhances fire safety and provides robust protection for both property and lives. There is no point in installing a fire curtain that is not BS8524 standard.

Globally, BS8524 is the industry gold standard for active fire curtain systems. NECO Fire Gard is proud to have outperformed this two-part standard, guaranteeing that all our fire curtain products not only fulfil but also surpass BS8524’s exacting specifications.

Offering thorough guidance to specifiers, manufacturers, installers, building inspectors, and buyers, the BS8524 standard serves as a beacon of excellence and trust. It confirms that our fire and smoke curtains have successfully passed a series of independent, witnessed tests against the strictest requirements, giving end users, facility managers, and occupants the utmost peace of mind. It also acts as a testament to the dependability and quality of our products.

Every fire and smoke curtain made by NECO Fire Gard is designed and manufactured with the BS8524 standard as the primary focus. Our attainment of the BS8524 standard, which Exova Warringtonfire, a leader in testing, inspection, and certification, has certified in the United Kingdom, demonstrates our commitment to cutting-edge fire safety solutions.

The installation of fire curtains in buildings is a crucial investment in enhancing fire safety measures and protecting occupants and assets. When assessing the cost of fire curtains, building owners should consider the long-term benefits of these systems in mitigating fire risks and minimising potential injury, death, and damage. By prioritising the quality and reliability of NECO fire and smoke curtains, building owners can create a safer environment for their occupants and reduce the impact of fire incidents at their properties.

A Leading Fire Curtain Manufacturer in the UK

At NECO Fire Gard, we have over a decade of experience in the fire safety industry and have established a strong reputation for manufacturing, supplying, and installing bespoke fire and smoke curtains, fire shutters, and steel fire doors that meet the highest quality and industry standards.

Because we are relentlessly committed to innovation, we continually invest in research and development to produce ground-breaking products and services. Our objective is to go beyond the strict fire safety standards set by international and UK regulations. Working with NECO Fire Gard, you are choosing a partner that is dedicated to excellence and outstanding customer service, providing you with peace of mind through our innovative products and industry-leading fire safety technology and expertise.

We offer cutting-edge solutions for fire protection in diverse building environments, ensuring that building owners have access to state-of-the-art fire safety systems that enhance the overall safety and compliance of their properties.

We have a wealth of experience in manufacturing and installing fire curtains, smoke curtains, and fire shutters and are known for our commitment to quality and safety. By partnering with us, building owners can access premium fire safety solutions that enhance the protection of their properties and occupants.

Fire and Smoke Curtain Conclusion

Fire and smoke curtains are indispensable components of fire safety systems that play a crucial role in containing and preventing the spread of fire and smoke in buildings. Installing fire curtains is a proactive step towards enhancing safety and compliance with fire safety regulations, safeguarding both your property and occupants from the devastating impacts of fires.

Get in touch with our professional team at NECO Fire Gard today at +44 2920 668332. We will answer any questions you have and arrange a no-obligation site survey for you. Whether you have an existing property that needs a fire or smoke curtain or are on your journey of developing a property, we can help.

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Fire curtains

The UK Fire Guard Regulations

As a building owner or employer, it is crucial to understand the UK fire curtain regulations, which aim at safeguarding your staff and occupants in case of any unforeseen events, such as fires. These guidelines are essential for ensuring that everyone remains safe during an emergency. As a property owner, you must understand these rules thoroughly or use a competent fire safety specialist like ourselves who can guide you through the regulations.

1. Obligation

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRFO) places significant emphasis on fire safety in non-domestic premises by assigning the responsibility of ensuring it to “responsible persons” such as building owners, landlords, or employers who have safety requirements to adhere to. The RRFO is a legal requirement that provides occupants protection from potential fire hazards, allowing occupants to safely leave a building in the event of a fire or smoke alarm. The legal obligation placed upon responsible parties is crucial for maintaining public health and safety welfare standards across all sectors where people work, live, or visit regularly. Peace of mind comes from knowing that the fire prevention strategies at each location have taken care of everyone’s well-being.

2. Risk Evaluation

To comply with the RRFO regulations (The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005), you must conduct a thorough fire risk assessment to identify potential hazards and implement suitable safety measures as a result. Regular reviews are necessary to ensure that these precautions remain effective in protecting your building from any possible dangers associated with fires.

3. Fire Curtains

Fire curtains are a critical component of property fire safety measures. They serve as barriers against the spreading of flames and smoke, enabling occupants to evacuate safely during an emergency. Installation is recommended in areas where there is an elevated risk for fires, such as openings found on walls, ceilings, or floors. With proper placement, they can provide significant protection from potential hazards posed by uncontrolled fires or smoke within buildings.

4. Installation

Fire curtains must be installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions and relevant BS8524 British Standards. This means ensuring that they are positioned correctly, at an appropriate height, and have adequate clearance. It is essential to follow these guidelines for optimal protection against fire hazards, and you should only ever use a fire curtain specialist to supply and install them.

5. Maintenance

Regularly maintaining fire curtains is essential for ensuring they remain fully functional in case of emergencies. This entails routine testing (a minimum of twice a year), cleaning, and inspection procedures that help guarantee optimal performance during a crisis. By adhering to these maintenance practices, you can rest assured that your fire curtain will work effectively when needed most.

6. Certification

Fire curtains must adhere to relevant British standards for optimal safety. The British standard that governs active fire curtains is BS 8524. It is divided into two sections: The fire curtain itself is tested thoroughly in Part 1 of the specification, and proper installation, suitable applications, and necessary maintenance are covered in Part 2 of the specified Code of Practice. Certification assures that these barriers have undergone rigorous testing and meet all requirements. By following this protocol, they can ensure their employees’ well-being while also complying with legal obligations.

7. Compatibility

To ensure they work together seamlessly, fire curtains must be compatible with other fire safety measures, such as smoke detectors and fire alarms. This is crucial for ensuring that the building’s overall protection against fires remains at the highest level possible through an integrated approach to fire safety measures.

8. Emergency Planning

To ensure safety in case of a fire emergency, the responsible person must establish an effective plan that outlines all necessary measures, such as evacuation procedures and contact details. This information must be communicated clearly among staff members and occupants within the building premises without any delay or ambiguity whatsoever. By doing so, the risks associated with a fire are minimised while ensuring everyone’s well-being during these unforeseen circumstances.

9. Training

To ensure that all staff and occupants of the building are prepared for potential emergencies, such as fires, it is essential to provide comprehensive fire safety training. This includes educating individuals on how best to utilise measures like fire curtains or other preventative measures in place within their facility. By doing so, everyone will be equipped with the knowledge necessary should an unfortunate event occur, ultimately increasing their chances of survival while minimising harm caused by flames.

10. Review

Regularly assessing the effectiveness of fire safety measures is crucial to preventing potential disasters. A competent person, such as a qualified risk assessor or consultant, should conduct these evaluations to ensure that all necessary precautions are taken for buildings at risk from fires.

To ensure compliance with the RRFO and to create a secure environment for employees and occupants alike, building owners should adhere to these essential points. However, if there is any uncertainty regarding UK fire curtain regulations, it’s best practice to consult an expert, such as a qualified safety professional or competent person. By doing so, you can rest assured that your property meets all requirements while keeping everyone safe from harm.

Contact NECO Fire Gard today at +44 2920 668332, or use our contact page with any questions you have, and our expert team will be happy to answer and arrange a no-obligation site survey with one of our fire safety experts. Our full planning and design service, installation, maintenance, and repair services are all extremely cost-effective solutions that provide you and your property with optimum safety when it comes to smoke and fire curtains across the UK.

We offer a wide range of options for the bespoke manufacture, supply, installation, servicing, preventative maintenance, and repair of smoke and fire curtains in any property type in the UK.