Fire and smoke curtain webinar Q&A

Posted by Paul Compton on 13/09/16 12:00

Thanks to all those who attended my webinar last week on the design considerations when integrating smoke and fire curtains into a building. The webinar is now available as a recording, which you can watch at any time.

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Topics: Curtains, Fire Containment, Smoke Containment, Webinar

Choosing control systems and power supplies for smoke and fire curtains

Posted by Paul Compton on 30/08/16 12:00

Smoke and fire curtains are usually controlled (either individually or in groups) by a zone control panel. The curtains are allowed to fall automatically under the influence of gravity when the power is lost, which can happen in a fire or during a simple power cut. However if there is an electricity outage where there is no emergency, this can be a nuisance, and it can be prevented by using either a local Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) or a Battery Back-Up (BBU).

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Topics: Smoke Control, Fire Containment, Controls, Curtains

9 tips for smoke and fire curtain installations

Posted by Paul Compton on 02/08/16 12:00

Installing fire curtains and smoke curtains can be tricky to get right. Here are 9 hopefully useful tips to help you. Read More

Topics: Fire Containment, Smoke Containment, Webinar, Curtains

Fire safety through compartmentation with smoke and fire curtains

Posted by Paul Compton on 26/07/16 12:00

If you think that five breaths are all it takes to lose consciousness, you won’t be surprised to learn that as many as 70% of victims in a fire suffocate. Thick smoke can lead to disorientation and make it difficult to breathe, while the heat can cause parts of the building to collapse and start secondary fires. All this makes it difficult for people to find their way out of the building and for emergency services to make their way in to fight the fire.

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Topics: Smoke Control, Fire Containment, Smoke Containment, Curtains

Smoke and fire curtains webinar Q&A

Posted by Paul Compton on 03/11/15 12:00

I received some excellent questions during the Q&A section during the recent webinar that I presented. Here you can see my answers to these questions, slightly edited for clarity.

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Topics: Fire Containment, Smoke Containment, Webinar, Curtains

Detailing of side guides and bottom bars for smoke and fire curtains

Posted by Paul Compton on 29/09/15 11:30

At the design stage it is necessary to pay attention to the detailing of side guides and bottom bars for smoke and fire curtains.

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Topics: Smoke Control, Fire Containment, Curtains

How can we avoid the risk of external influences causing a fire curtain to stick?

Posted by Paul Compton on 12/05/15 11:30

A properly designed and installed fire curtain will deploy time and time again without any problem. BS 8524-1 includes a reliability test where the curtain is cycle tested to prove reliability of operation over an extended period.

What can go wrong? Excess pressure differences

However, it is quite possible for a fire curtain to stick if subjected to excess pressure differences or air velocities while it is deploying. The problem is that the pressure or velocity pushes the fabric and its end guides against one side of the side guide rail and the resulting additional friction can overcome the gravitational force and stop the curtain in its tracks.

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Topics: Fire Containment, Curtains

Smoke and fire curtains webinar Q&A

Posted by Paul Compton on 03/03/15 11:30

At our recent webinar on smoke and fire curtains, I received a large number of excellent questions during the Q&A section. Here you can see my answers to these questions, slightly edited for clarity. 

There is also a recording of the webinar available. Watching the recorded version will still enable you to claim CPD points.

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Topics: Fire Containment, Smoke Containment, Webinar, Curtains

Smoke and fire curtain control system power supplies: keep it simple!

Posted by Paul Compton on 17/02/15 11:30

Following on from our previous blog covering specifying fire curtains, we now turn to automatic controls for smoke and fire curtains.

Again we’ve been seeing lots of long-winded specifications calling for quite sophisticated control functions and features, mentioning potentially confusing features such as ‘epicyclic gearbox retarders’ which seem to be very specific to certain manufacturers rather than being an application or project requirement. These kinds of specifications may well be over complicating matters and potentially could build in reliability issues as well as increasing capital and maintenance costs unnecessarily. 

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Topics: Fire Containment, Smoke Containment, Controls, Curtains

Specifying Fire Curtains: over-complicate things at your peril!

Posted by Paul Compton on 10/02/15 11:30

Fire curtains: what they do. As an alternative to bulky fire shutters or doors, a fire curtain is designed to seal off an opening between two areas, deploying when there is a fire to prevent that fire from spreading from one area to another. It operates automatically when connected to a suitable control system and when it has been installed and commissioned correctly.

Specifying: why level of integrity should come first. With the above in mind, arguably the most important aspect of specifying a fire curtain is deciding what level of integrity is actually required to maintain compartmentation between the two areas to be protected. So, the critical consideration should be, does the fire curtain need to provide 30, 60, 120 or 180 minutes integrity?

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Topics: Fire Containment, Smoke Containment, Curtains

CPD-accredited webinar: Design considerations when integrating smoke and fire curtains into a building

Posted by Paul Compton on 03/02/15 11:30

Join me on Friday 27th Febuary 2015 at 12:30 GMT, as I present a free CPD webinar on the design considerations when integrating smoke and fire curtains into a building. 

Fire curtains seal off an area which is on fire, thereby preventing fire from moving from one area to another. Smoke curtains prevent the passage of smoke. 

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Topics: Fire Containment, Smoke Containment, Curtains

Q&A from Dr John H Klote's webinar on design fires for smoke control

Posted by Paul Compton on 01/07/14 11:30

At our recent webinar with guest speaker, John Klote, we had a large attendance with many questions asked. Here you can find John's and my answers to these questions, slightly edited for clarity. 

If you missed the live webinar, then a recorded version is available here.

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Topics: Smoke Control, Fire Containment, Webinar

Questions and Answers from our smoke and fire curtains webinar

Posted by Paul Compton on 25/03/14 11:30

At Colt’s CPD accredited  smoke and fire curtains webinar, we received some interesting questions in the Q&A session at the end, which I would like to share.
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Topics: Fire Containment, Smoke Containment, Webinar, Smoke ventilation, CPD, Curtains

Questions and answers from Paul Compton's webinar, “What are the design considerations when integrating smoke and fire curtains into a building?”

Posted by Paul Compton on 18/06/13 11:04

First of all a big thank you to those who attended my webinar last Friday on the above subject. If you missed it or would like to watch it again a recorded version is available here. Many questions were asked after the presentation and I decided to post the most interesting ones up here for everybody’s benefit.

Before I do, I confirm that the presentation I made has been CPD approved and if that you watch either the entire recorded or live version, you may request that we send you a CPD attendance certificate.

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Topics: Fire Containment, Smoke Containment, Webinar, CPD, Curtains

New fire curtain standard to replace PAS 121

Posted by Paul Compton on 29/05/13 09:51

“Marry in haste, repent at leisure”, as the saying goes. This case is not quite so dramatic but PAS 121 (in common with most PAS) was written in haste and it shows.

At last though we have a replacement (in fact 2 replacements) in the form of BS 8524-1 and BS 8524-2, both published last month. These have been developed through the full BSI process and are much better.

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Topics: Smoke Control, Fire Containment, Regulations, Smoke Containment