A Look Inside: How Smoke Guard Curtains Are Tested

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When it comes to fire and smoke protection, Smoke Guard curtains have a solid reputation for protecting a wide range of building openings. That’s because these smoke curtains have been tested and verified to meet strict international standards. 

Meeting these standards is not an easy task and requires a variety of tests to develop the safest products for architects, engineers and designers to use in their buildings. Let’s take a look at how Smoke Guard curtains maintain their status as an industry leader through their smoke curtains testing process.

Evaluation Service Reports

Listing and labeling information, as well as testing standards, can be found in the technical datasheets for each Smoke Guard product. This information is particularly valuable for architects, engineers and builders because it can help them follow best practices when designing and constructing buildings and their openings.

Smoke Guard’s Elevator Curtains also come with an Evaluation Service Report (ESR) that details:

  1. Product Components

  2. Inspection Procedures

  3. Conditions of Use

  4. Other Pertinent Information

This qualifies them for AC77, which is the acceptance criteria for alternative means and methods for smoke protection at the elevator.

The Smoke Guard Testing Process

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Smoke curtains testing is dependent on the specific type of curtain and how it will be used within a building. Before any Smoke Guard curtain goes through independent testing, they are always tested multiple times in-house by Smoke Guard professionals. 

In-house testing includes performing several curtain deployments to ensure the product is operating correctly. This includes mounting the screen in its housing and testing all aspects of deployment approximately five times.

The electrical components (the controls and motors) of each fire and smoke curtain system also go through a separate round of testing specific to their function. For example, all motors have their braking and coding components tested and all curtain control mechanisms are sent through a computer simulation to test their alarm response and communication capability with emergency response teams.

Industry Testing Standards 

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Knowing the details behind testing standards helps architects and builders select the right products for their building’s needs. Testing knowledge also ensures smoke and fire curtains are properly utilized during and after the construction or renovation of buildings.

Where codes and standards are concerned, Smoke Guard’s curtain systems are separated into two categories:

  1. Smoke-rated products are tested to multiple standards by a third party. The Model 600 smoke curtain, for example, is tested to meet UL, IBC, ICC and ASME standards, which you can review here.

  2. Fire-rated products are tested to multiple standards as well, including the UL 10B, 10C and 10D standards.

Let’s take a more in-depth look at the International Code Council Evaluation Service standards and the UL 10D standard. These are particularly important to the fire and smoke curtain testing process and any product you purchase for your building should always meet these specifications.

International Code Council Evaluation Service

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One of the most important steps in meeting smoke curtain testing standards entails gaining approval from the International Code Council Evaluation Service (ICC-ES) to meet the standards defined in the International Building Code (IBC).

The ICC-ES helps bridge the gap between the construction industry and building codes. With this approval, contractors, architects and designers can be assured all Smoke Guard products have received a high quality of evaluation by industry professionals with decades of experience.

UL 10D Testing Standards

While testing is important for all safety measures included in a building, fire and smoke protection is especially crucial.  UL 10D is the premier standard for testing fire curtain protection assemblies. 

UL 10D uses the same time and temperature curve as UL 10C testing for door assemblies: approaching or exceeding 2000⁰ F over a two hour test period. The biggest difference, however, comes from the fact that door assemblies require a hose stream test immediately following the elevated temperature test as they are structural building components.

Talk to a Fire Protection Consultant

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Obviously, simulated situations can only test so many variables. These tests and standards are only meant to show a representation of how these curtains will withstand environments with extreme smoke and fire. 

That’s why it’s important to understand other variables that may impact the integrity of smoke and fire curtains like ventilation, compartment size and configuration. These factors can affect the performance of smoke and fire curtains in a real-life situation. 

For these reasons, always speak with a fire protection consultant to ensure your building can meet and exceed fire regulations.

Want to Learn More? 

Smoke Guard smoke and fire curtains have a proven record of excellence and will help meet your code requirements without hindering the design of your building.

Take a look at some of our favorite projectsand see how we’ve helped architects and building owners find solutions for fire safety that meet local code requirements while still maintaining design integrity. 

Need help designing your space for fire safety? Find a Smoke Guard distributor here