Get Superior Fire & Smoke Protection in Metal Buildings


Metal buildings may give a false sense of security when it comes to smoke and fire resistance. Metal is non-combustible, and therefore, can give the impression of being a safer option than more flammable building materials such as wood. 

Hangers, warehouses, metal barns and other steel structures still need to take precautions against smoke and flame and meet local fire and safety codes.

Metal buildings are able to be built to taller heights and are allowed to be up to 50% larger than wood framed buildings. These larger sizes and potentially higher occupancy rates mean that they need to take care to help reduce the damage and potential health risks in the event of a fire.

Smoke and draft curtains can add an extra layer of protection to your steel construction building, reducing the spread of smoke and the damage that it may cause.

Additional Fire & Smoke Protection for Steel Buildings

All commercial buildings must follow rigorous fire and safety codes during construction and operation. To meet them, most metal buildings will include at a minimum some type of fire suppression system. Usually, they also include draft or ventilation systems, sprinkler systems and the necessary alarms, all things that provide fire protection for steel structures.

And while these systems definitely help reduce the risk of fire and the resulting damage that can occur, frequently, they are not enough. Smoke from fires can travel further and faster than the flames, doing more damage and causing more health risks for occupants. By including some type of smoke or draft curtains in your metal buildings, you will further reduce this risk.

In addition to your current fire safety systems, you should install both smoke and fire curtains as well as draft curtains. A fire suppression system can help get flames under control, but a fire and smoke curtain will help keep them in one location, making it easier for firefighters to enter the building and for occupants to leave the building. 

They also help to keep smoke either contained to a small area or, in the case of draft curtains, force the smoke towards ventilation that can funnel it out of the building. This helps lessen the amount of damage that fire and smoke can cause to the interior of your building, while also helping protect occupants. 

Installing fire, smoke and draft curtains can also help with codes. Most building codes are prescriptive, meaning if you can show that the curtains will uphold the spirit of the code, they can be approved as passing the code. How does this help you? It can give you more usable square footage, as you can install curtains hidden in your ceiling instead of having to have walls and doors. 

Fire & Smoke Curtains


Fire and Smoke curtains block smoke and flames from traveling through areas that can carry them to other parts of the building. Areas like staircases and elevator shafts are at high risk of funneling smoke from a fire in one location to other areas of a building. By installing a smoke curtain at these types of openings, you eliminate this risk.

Smoke curtains can be installed above doorways and elevator openings. The curtain remains discreetly housed until smoke is detected at which time it is deployed, covering the opening and preventing smoke from getting through.

Larger smoke curtains can also be used in large, open areas to prevent smoke from rising to upper levels in a building. As some metal buildings may have very high ceilings, a smoke curtain which deploys horizontally across an area can help keep smoke and flames contained in the lower sections of the building. 

This can reduce the damage done to the upper portion of the building, which can be particularly beneficial in warehouses and other storage facilities where goods and materials may be stored at higher elevations.

Draft Curtains


Another option for warehouses and storage facilities with wide, open spaces is a draft curtain. Draft curtains are installed on the metal frame on the interior of your building’s ceiling.

They are made of a fire-resistant material that is designed to block any traveling smoke, contain it and direct it. As most high-ceilinged metal buildings will have ventilation and draft systems installed, the draft curtains can help utilize them, driving the smoke to the vents and out of the building. And because they are flame-resistant, they’ll continue to do their job funneling smoke even if exposed to fire.

Draft curtains help reduce the amount of damage that the smoke can do while also helping to clear the building of the smoke. This gives your fire suppression systems more time to put out or reduce the flames while waiting for the fire response teams to arrive.

Neither smoke curtains nor draft curtains require major remodels or renovations to your buildings. They can be installed at the time of the building’s original construction, or they can be retrofitted into existing buildings to help improve your existing fire prevention and suppression systems.

Protect Your Metal Buildings

Metal buildings may be less combustible than buildings made of wood frames, but they still need to take fire safety and prevention seriously. Having a fire suppression system alone is not enough. 

A superior fire safety plan also blocks the spread of smoke or helps the smoke safely make its way out of the building to reduce the damage and health risks that it brings. Consider smoke curtains for your metal buildings to help complete your fire protection plan. 

Contact Smoke Guard today to get a quote or to find a distributor in your area that can help you gain better fire protection for your steel structures.