Three Spaces in a Hotel That Benefit the Most From Smoke Curtains


A good hotel smoke and fire safety plan is always designed to protect its occupants and the structure of the hotel. Because smoke is the leading cause of injury and death in commercial building fires, having an enhanced level of smoke protection in hotels is especially important.

Using smoke curtains designed for both fire and smoke protection is one way to ensure these areas have an added layer of safety. These curtains help control the spread of smoke, keeping hotel guests and the structural integrity of the building safe from potentially catastrophic damage.

There are three common areas within hotels that are most at risk during a fire. Let’s learn more about how you can incorporate the use of smoke and fire curtains in your building design to protect occupants.



Hotel elevators and elevator lobbies are one of the most vulnerable areas of a hotel. Without the right level of protection, smoke can easily travel through elevator shafts to infiltrate other parts of the building (like a chimney), making them a big risk for building occupants.

Using elevator smoke curtains helps further contain smoke, preventing its spread to other parts of the building. This also means you don’t have to limit your open space areas by enclosing the elevator lobby.

When used in combination with an elevator’s fire-rated doors, curtains like Smoke Guard’s M200 and M400 elevator curtains provide additional smoke and draft opening protection. These curtains use a magnetic design and are easy to install in elevator openings, staying hidden until they deploy vertically, activated when smoke is detected at that opening.

They also can be integrated into existing fire control systems, adding an extra level of protection, or even bringing an older building structure up to code. Smoke Guard’s innovative elevator smoke curtains also have these important safety features:

  • Transparent Design: Both firefighters and building occupants can see what is on the other side. This also meets elevator code requirements for vision panels.
  • ADA Compliant: Building occupants can open them either with a switch or by exerting less than 15 pounds of pressure to push the curtain away from the elevator frame.
  • ICC Compliant: These curtains also meet the ICC International Building Code as an alternative to enclosed elevator lobbies and other applications.

If you are renovating or working to bring your building up to code, click here to read about the Flagler Station Marriott in Miami, Florida and how architects used smoke curtains to save space while adhering to code requirements.


Often considered as a main architectural feature of a hotel, atriums can include large, vast spaces that span for multiple floors. While the beauty of an atrium is an important element of a hotel’s design, these areas can be a challenge when choosing the right smoke protection solutions.

Using fire and smoke rated perimeter curtains is one way to create a fire safety system without impacting an atrium’s appearance. For atriums that are more than three stories in height, horizontal smoke curtains can automatically deploy out of nearly invisible openings in ceilings and walls.


Curtains like the fire-rated M4000 perimeter curtain allows architects to leave floors open to the atrium, but have them easily cordoned off during an emergency. These curtains also work with existing mechanical smoke and fire containment systems or additional fire curtains and cost less to install and maintain over the life of the building.

The M4000 perimeter curtain does not require corner supports, so it can be configured in several ways: an enclosed, box-like format, a faceted open-ended configuration with or without side-guide captures, or floor-to-floor separation in the event of a fire.

These vertical smoke curtains can also shield staircases or escalators from smoke and flames or provide a reservoir for smoke on the upper floors of an atrium or other open space.

Event Spaces


A hotel’s event space is built to accommodate many types of functions, which often means these are wide-open spaces that can be combined together or partitioned depending on the size of the event. Smoke and fire curtains offer a versatile protection solution for multi-functional spaces.

Some products, like Smoke Guard’s smoke-rated M600 elevator curtain, are fully customizable which allows it to safely seal most elevator openings in an event space. These curtains are design-friendly and remain out of sight when they are not in use. This is also an ideal solution if you are upgrading an older building to bring it up to code or do not want to compromise the visual aesthetics of a building (especially a historic structure).

Cliff House is a historic home in Ogunquit, Maine that was first opened in 1872. The iconic hotel and event space were most recently renovated in 2016 to accommodate the increasing number of visitors.

To increase the safety measures for their guests and the building structure itself, they used the Smoke Guard M4000 perimeter curtain to protect a two-story communicating staircase. The use of this curtain kept them from compromising on space or adding corner posts in the remodel.

Other Considerations: Efficiency and Safety


Hotels can consume a lot of energy, which causes stress on both the facility’s utility equipment and finances. By incorporating features like smoke curtains into a property’s design, you can successfully build hotels that are more cost- and energy-efficient because many systems can be configured to work together.

(Click here to learn more about how two top hotel brands have seen outstanding results from implementing their efficiency-focused plans.)

It’s also important to remember that the International Building Code includes requirements for egress from event spaces. If you are designing an event facility that accommodates many visitors, you will also need to consider what your area’s local codes require based on the occupant load of the space.

See How Smoke Guard Can Change Your Hotel Space

Using hotel smoke curtains helps ensure that guests have access to safe and secure exit routes. Check out Smoke Guard’s offerings and see how they can help increase the safety of your building. Click here to find a distributor close to you.