Smoke Guard Solutions vs. Opaque Track-Based Curtains: Part 2

Enclosing elevators shafts with proper smoke and fire protection is crucial to building safety and code satisfaction. However, depending on which application you choose, there can be varying design implications and limitations.

In today’s post we are going to discuss some different characteristics that differentiate the protection Smoke Guard provides at the elevator versus track-based competitors for the same application.


  • Smoke Guard’s primary source of egress is a 4’ square rewind switch on both sides of the curtain. A secondary option is manually pushing the screen open with less than 15 pounds of force. Furthermore, Smoke Guard uses a transparent fabric that reduces panic and anxiety and complies with the vision panel requirement in the 2015 Elevator Code.

  • Track-based competitors have a rewind switch wired into the elevator frame, potentially voiding a manufacturer’s warranty for the elevator. The rewind button is not confirmed to be ADA compliant and an opaque curtain can lead to a feeling of entrapment and may not comply with elevator code. Manual egress is possible by lifting the curtain from bottom bar with grab straps.

Curtain Material:

  • Smoke Guard uses a transparent curtain material that is fully compliant with all editions of elevator code. The see-through fabric allows all emergency responders to immediately assess the situation without compromising heat and smoke protection.

  • Opaque materials used by competitors blocks the view and darkens the elevator cab. It also allows for the possibility of entrapment between the elevator door and the curtain.