A passive smoke management systems requires no mechanical systems to support them. They are typically easier to install as they do not require intervention from an engineer. In health care, partitioning smoke can be especially important when a building is potentially housing many people with weakened immune systems or reduced mobility. As much time as possible needs to be given to allow all occupants to exit the building safely in the event of a fire-related emergency.
Flexible fire and smoke curtains are the foundation of most passive smoke management systems. These curtains have been used as elevator protection for some time, but because of their design benefits have become a huge asset to atrium design. These curtains contain and compartmentalize fire and smoke before they reach the open area of an atrium.
Atriums allow access to many other areas of a building. While that is convenient for occupants, it can be difficult to stop smoke and fire from quickly spreading throughout. Flexible curtains can not only block off hallways, but can also serve as a makeshift ceiling in the event of a multistory atrium.
In health care it is very common to have different wings of a building for different purposes. Just like the Intensive Care Unit is sectioned off from the Maternity Ward, flexible smoke curtains can help keep those areas separate in the event of an emergency as well.