Benefits of Fire-Resistant Curtains in Hotels

Commercials kitchens are always at an increased risk for fires due to open flames, and when you combine open flames with a hotel's high occupancy, it results in a substantial amount of fires in hotels. In fact, the NFPA has found that roughly 50% of all fires in hotels or motels were caused by cooking equipment.

With an average of 3,500 fires occurring every year in hotels and motels, hotel owners should strongly consider adding fire-resistant curtains to their current fire safety features.

Importance of Fire Curtains in Hotel Safety

Fire resistant curtains are deceptively simple in appearance, yet impressively effective at controlling fires through containment. While they do not actively extinguish a fire like sprinklers, they serve as a passive barrier to prevent or slow the spreading of flames, which decreases the amount of damage and the cost to repair the damage.

As a barrier, these curtains can divide open spaces into smaller, easier-to-control zones. Large vertical openings, expansive atriums, staircases and elevators are all vulnerable to a rush of flames and smoke, either because of their openness or because airflow channels feed oxygen to a fire and spread flames and smoke.

By blocking off these narrower spaces and compartmentalizing the open areas, firefighters will have an easier time safely entering the building and controlling the fire. Additionally, the better contained a fire is, the safer the evacuation of staff and guests.

Advantages of Hybrid Fire Curtains

There are three main categories of deployable curtains: fire, smoke and hybrid (smoke and fire) curtains.

Dedicated fire curtains are designed to protect against fire, while dedicated smoke curtains are designed to block smoke. Hybrid curtains are able to both protect against fire and contain smoke, combining both styles into one.

These versatile curtains offer better smoke control than a fire curtain and more fire-resistance than a smoke curtain.

Hotels are an ideal place for hybrid curtains for two reasons.

First, a hotel fire safety program must prioritize human health. Smoke is the main cause of injury and death in a fire which means controlling smoke is vital. Hybrid curtains will block more smoke than a dedicated fire curtain and allow for more efficient evacuation.

Second, hotel owners will want to minimize structural damage to the hotel. Smoke Guard’s M2100 hybrid curtain has a 2-hour fire endurance rating, which is on par with ratings of some dedicated fire curtains. A hybrid curtain will prevent the fire from spreading, thereby reducing the amount of damage being done to the hotel.

Ideal Placement of Fire + Smoke Hybrid Curtains

There are three ideal areas for fire + smoke curtains in hotels: elevator openings, vertical openings (atriums and large wall openings) and horizontal openings (openings between floors). Some hotels may also benefit from perimeter fire-resistant curtains (to close off an atrium or lobby) or draft curtains (to funnel smoke to an exhaust system) as well.

As pictured above, elevator openings are a common area in which hotel owners decide to install smoke curtains, usually due to building code requirements.

These compact curtains are invisible when installed, tucked up neatly above the door. They also take up less square footage when installed compared to other elevator curtains. When deployed, the curtain will fall and immediately seal off the elevator door. IBC requirements are met when these curtains are paired with fire-rated elevator doors.

Large openings, whether vertical or horizontal, may be present in hotel hallways, lobbies, atriums and dining areas. Fire resistant curtains will break down the hotel into smaller areas and slow or even halt the spreading of fire and smoke. Curtains can be installed during new construction or easily added to existing buildings.

Fire resistant curtains are an effective way of protecting hotels and hotel occupants in the event of a fire. They are highly versatile and work with existing fire-rated features to ensure a higher level of fire safety for your hotel.

See how Clemson Watt used Smoke Guard’s vertical curtains in their atrium to prevent smoke from billowing to the second floor. Contact us to find out how you can use it on your hotel today.