Q: What are fire curtains?

A: In its simplest form, a fire curtain is similar to a roller shutter but it is much lighter and fire rated material is hidden away in a metal top box, which automatically unrolls downwards when needed. When not required it retracts back into position hidden from view.

Q: Can you describe the product?

A: Our smoke and fire curtains are automated and drop down upon activation of the fire alarm panel or individual smoke or heat detector. They are fitted to the exact measurements of the area so once they have fallen they secure the opening and will withstand a fire for between one to four hours.

Q: How do fire curtains work?

A: Fire curtains are composed of an aluminium fibre glass fire rated fabric, capable of resisting high temperatures, smoke and gases which is rolled onto a steel barrel and powered by a special internal tubular geared motor. With a heavy bottom bar attached to the curtain, the fire curtain will descend fully to the floor on command down steel side guides. When not required the unit can either be manually reset or automatically retract into its concealed position until activated again.

Q: What is gravity fail safe?

A: Gravity Fail safe means that if there is a failure in the main functions of the system, the power supply and the battery back-up system fails then the curtain will still descend under its own weight at a steady rate of descent.

Q: Are fire curtains easy to install and how much room do they take up?

A: Due to the compact nature of the product, Smoke & Fire Curtains Ltd products can be installed unobtrusively, almost anywhere. They are not a product designed to be seen and therefore tend to be concealed within the ceiling void, above the false ceiling. Due to their compact size, they can also be incorporated into structural steel works, beams and other architectural finishes.

Q: How can fire curtains be affixed?

A: There are numerous ways that the units can be attached to the structure. Some of the most common are suspension from threaded drop rods, attachment direct to the underside of the slab, attachment to an RSJ or steel beam and attachment direct to the side of the slab. Anybody with good building and electrical experience should have no problems installing our automatic fire curtains. We provide technical help from the outset, ensuring our supply only clients are provided with the tools required to carry out a site survey. A full installation and operating & maintenance manual is provided to ensure a smooth and simple installation process; technical help is always available over the phone if there are any queries or if help is needed to get the fire curtain fully up and running.

Q: Why not use standard steel fire shutters?

A: Fire curtains are a lot more efficient that normal steel shutters. Fire Curtains contain heat more efficiently than steel shutters and are comparably more compact, stylish and safer than heavy steel shutters which can roll down unexpectedly. Automatic Fire Curtains are also far quieter, using highly advanced electronics & controls, ensuring they are suitable for refits and building refurbishments, designed to work with building management systems.

Q: Are your products compatible with an open space?

A: Fire and smoke curtains are a good solution for an open space as they will hardly be visible and will allow people free access through the opening until such time when the alarm is activated. Alternative options that clients may choose include a fire door or sprinkler system; however building control and fire regulations do recommend fire curtains more frequently due to the wider applications they have compared with standard fire doors. Our prices are more competitive than for a sprinkler system or a high specification fire door, which is bulky, in plain sight all of the time and has limitations on its size.

Q: Can you send us a price list?

A: We don’t have a price list to send out unfortunately as all of our prices are based on the individual widths, heights and specifications for each project. If you have any projects that require a price, please let us know and we can issue a quotation immediately.

Q: Can the curtain be brought back up if there is a false alarm?

A: Yes, all curtains come with a key switch which can be turned in order to raise the curtain once the fire alarm system has been reset. The key switch can also be used for regular testing of the fire curtain which is recommended to be carried out no more than once per week. Easy access to the fire curtain control panel is required in order to do this. If the alarm is still in operation then an over-ride switch can be provided which will also raise the curtain.

Q: Due to the layout of the property I would not have access to the keyswitch in order to bring the fire curtain back up manually; how can the fire curtain be brought back up?

A: In case of a false alarm, once the signal is lost to our control panel the fire curtains will automatically retract. Please note that if the fire curtain is set to automatically retract the key switch provided will be made redundant, so cannot be used in order to test the functioning of the fire curtain. The fire alarm will have to be set off in order to test the fire curtain.

Q: Do you provide horizontal curtains?

A: No, unfortunately we only provide the vertical fire curtains. We may look to add it to our portfolio of products in the future but there is not too much demand for them at the moment.

Q: What is the connection to the alarm?

A: The connection to the alarm is a normally closed, volt-free connection system and our control panel is 24 volts. The fire alarm system will need to be able to work with our low voltage control panels. If the fire alarm panel or detector is mains powered a relay will need to be put in place to ensure the fire curtain control panel does not blow a fuse. The only thing we don’t do during the installation is to connect to an already existing fire alarm system. The electrician or fire alarm technician will connect the alarm to the panel and our installers will advise on site how to do this. If the smoke or heat detector is provided by Smoke & Fire Curtains Ltd then our installers will made the connection to the alarm.

Q: What are the override switches?

A: Override switches allow people to pass through the curtain whilst the fire alarm is still in active mode. Pressing the switch rolls the curtain back up allowing safe passage through the curtain. Once the switch has been released the curtain will descend to the floor, ensuring the fire integrity is not compromised.

Q: Can the steelwork be painted to match?

A: The side guides, top box and bottom rail can be painted to any standard RAL colour. White is the most popular but we can do any RAL colour that is specified in order to match the surroundings within the property.

Q: What is the smallest size you offer?

A: The smallest curtain size we can offer is 700mm wide. Please contact us if there are special requirements.

Q: How much will the fire curtain weigh?

A: The weight of the fire curtains depend on the individual width, height and material used. Please contact us on 01163527223 and a member of our sales team will be able to inform you of the weight for your specific requirements.

Q: Do you offer a Service & Maintenance on your products?

A: Yes, we offer a 12 month guarantee with our product (as long as it’s a mechanical fault). After that a maintenance program can be offered and this is quoted as the amount for us to send a technician to site. Our engineers would come out once a year to the property to make sure the fire curtain(s) runs okay. We will test the equipment off the alarm; we will change the batteries on the control panel and check the motor limits. When complete, we’ll send through a Service & Maintenance certificate via email. Once the service and maintenance annual check has been carried out the working units are guaranteed for 12 months thereafter.

Q: Can you provide a service & maintenance on our curtain? (The installer was not Smoke & Fire Curtains Ltd or is not known)

A: Check the control panel and it should state which company installed it. We are able to provide maintenance only on our own fire curtain systems. Unfortunately we cannot help with any other systems. Please contact our head office is you are unsure who installed your fire curtain.

Q: Can we just buy a roll of fabric?

A: Yes, it usually comes in rolls of 25 or 50 metres long by 1.2 or 1.5 metres wide. The immediate availability is dependent upon stock levels. Cost per square metre will depend upon the integrity of the fabric. Please contact our head office on 0116352723 for an immediate quote.

Q: What are the lead times on the supply and installation of your fire curtains?

A: Total turnaround time from the date of order placed and deposit received will be confirmed once the details are checked by our sales team but this is usually around 2-3 weeks.

Technical Advice

Q: There is a clicking noise when i turn the key switch but the curtain does not descend. What should I do?

A: This usually indicates a problem with the battery and it may need replacing. Re-check all fuses and wiring.

Q: The curtain does not drop down on activation of the alarm. What should I do?

A: This usually indicates a problem with the alarm connection. Check the connection to the alarm is wired in properly. Otherwise the polarity of the motor may be incorrect. Ensure the curtain is half way down when triggering the alarm, if the fire curtain starts to ascend then the motor wires need to be reversed.

Q: The curtain is not working off the key switch but is working off the alarm. What should I do?

A: This most likely means that the control panel is set to auto reset so the key switch is made redundant. Ensure the key switch wiring connections are correct.

For more information on this, please refer to the troubleshooting page in the relevant Operating and Maintenance manual – this can be acquired by contacting our head office. If in any doubt please contact us on 01163527223 for technical advice before attempting to carry out any work on the fire curtains.

Q: My Question is not here, what should I do?

A: If you can not find an answer to your questions then please send us an e-mail or just make a telephone call to 0116 3527223. We would be happy to answer any questions and provide any further information required.