Questions & Answers

Fire Curtains, Smoke Curtains and Fire Shutters. The answers in plain English.

What is a fire curtain and what does it actually do?

A fire curtain is a specially developed and engineered screen that drops from the ceiling and literally cuts off the path of a fire between two open areas. Very much like a traditional fire door.

The advantages of a using our fire curtain systems are:

  • Our Time Shield™ and Twin Skin™ curtain system has been fully certified to BS EN 1634-1 and has been specially developed for fire curtains requiring an unlimited width.
  • We can design and manufacture fire curtains up to 18 feet in height.
  • We can design invisible fire curtain systems that are only ever seen when your fire or smoke alarm is triggered.
  • Our intelligent systems can be used to create instant and secure fire escape corridors throughout a building.
  • They come in 30,60,90,120,240 minute integrity specifications (Integrity is the amount of time the curtain has held back the flames of a test furnace. Our Time Shield™ & Twin Skin™ curtain systems have been fully tested and certified at Warrington Fire, with temperatures well in excess of 1000 centigrade)
  • All our Time Shield™ and Twin Skin™ have a full 12 months parts and labour warranty*.

What is a smoke curtain and what does it actually do?

A smoke curtain is very similar to a fire curtain but is designed to channel toxic fumes to a safe exit point in a building. Unlike a fire curtain, a smoke curtain does not need side guides and normally, does not always need to drop to floor level. With the added advantage of our Twin Skin™ technology, we can design and build smoke curtains with a theoretical unlimited width.

What is a fire shutter and what does it actually do?

Fire shutters can be seen on most commercial buildings today. They are mostly used for added security to create a versatile, visible and very strong steel wall to stop unwanted visitors entering property. In the past number of years ™ have taken the next step with this technology to develop the Rhino FPS™ system, which offers all the values of a traditional shutter but with added fire protection.

The benefits of our Rhino FPS™ fire shutter systems are:

  • Effective added security and a highly visible deterrent.
  • We can design and build Rhino FPS™ shutter systems up to 7m x 7m.
  • All our tailor made Rhino FPS™ shutter systems are certified to BS EN 1634-1
  • Unlike fire and smoke curtains, our Rhino FPS™ system is more robust when exposed to extreme climate conditions.

What is the difference between a fire curtain and an insulated fire curtain?

An insulated fire curtain has been designed to ensure it reduces the ability for heat to pass through it. Unlike a fire curtain, an insulated curtain has undergone additional testing to ensure compliance. Council often specify insulated curtains are required.

There has not been to date, a curtain developed by anyone, that has the true values of “insulation” applied to it. Meaning, a fire curtain that can be touched by a bare hand, without sever burning occurring.

Will I be able to see the fire curtain or a fire shutter once its installed?

Fire curtain systems are much smaller that fire shutters. If there is a void above the location where you want the fire curtain to be fixed then , more often than not, we will be able to hide the head box inside that void. The side guides can be either packed up, or recessed into the side walls so all you will actually see will be a vertical 5mm gap where the curtain will run up and down, from floor to ceiling. The bottom rail can be recessed into the ceiling too.

Fire shutters are a little more obtrusive by nature. These systems are much bigger and a little more difficult to hide. This does not mean we cannot make them less obvious though. Whereas a fire curtain head box, for a single curtain, is 200mm square, a fire shutter head box usually starts at 350mm square with the motor end being 550mm x 350mm. So as you can see, trying to hide such a large system is a little more difficult but not unachievable.

Are fire-smoke curtains and fire shutters expensive ?

AThinking about it logically, smoke curtains are usually the cheapest. To manufacture takes less time, less steel and less man hours to install too.

Non insulated fire curtains start to become more complicated in their manufacture. The higher the integrity, the more expensive the actual fire curtain material becomes so by default, the fire curtain units increase in price.

Insulated fire curtains tend to be the most expensive of fire curtains. On average, insulated fire curtain material is 3 times more expensive to buy than non insulated. These core costs will reduce over time as more companies start to produce more of this type of material. But, for now, there are very few companies world wide, that manufacture insulated curtain material.

Fire shutters are at the top end with insulated fire curtains when it comes to price. These systems really are very complicated and contain substantially more steel and skill to manufacture. By the nature of the product and its weight, installation takes roughly twice as long as a fire curtain. More equipment and trained personnel are needed too so the overall costs increase accordingly.

To help keep our prices competitive we offer a full price match guarantee. This by no way affects the quality of or workmanship or even our superior core materials. So lets be honest, we want your business and we will do our utmost to secure it, even it it means reducing our profit margins even further.

Do fire-smoke curtains and fire shutters need to be inspected on a regular basis?

Depending on how active your protection system is, for example, you perform a fire test every week, then you really should have them inspected every quarter. Less active systems will usually only need a yearly inspection to check the internal rechargeable batteries and to make sure that your system has no critical wear and tear.

If a system has been damaged in some way (usually side guides are prone to being damaged through a collision) then its very important that your system is checked immediately.

Our systems are built to save lives so making sure they are working correctly and effectively, is on paramount importance. If should the unthinkable should happen and your system fails because of maintenance neglect, you could well see quite a few people knocking on your door wanting answers.

Do leave it until its to late. Get in touch today for more advice and a free quotation

If I order a smoke-fire curtain or fire shutter from you today, how long would it take to manufacture and install ?

K&D™ offer quite remarkable manufacture and installation lead times. Unlike many of our competitors, our lead times for manufacture really do start at just 3 days. Installation time, depending on how many units are to be installed, start from as little as 4 hours. We are experienced in working as part of a project team in either new build or retrofit projects.

Do you supply your products and services outside of the UK ?

In short, yes.

We regularly manufacture and supply all of products to different destinations across Europe and the world. We offer full onsite training support with K&D and all product technical documentation can be found online.

We endeavor to respond to any emergency within 1 hour, night or day, 24/7 and for technical questions posed, within 5 hours, night or day, 24/7.

You will be very hard pushed to find any other manufacturer or supplier who has the same level of dedication, which is why K&D™ are leading the way with this new life saving technology.

Do I need to supply project drawings?

If you can supply CAD drawings to us, then this will enable us to quote more accurately and you might not need a site survey. This alone will save you money on the overall costs of your unit. I’m sorry to say though, rough drawings will only enable us to give rough prices, for an exact quotation a site survey will be required.

If there is a need for us to supply CAD drawings of the units your order with us, then no problem. Our in-house qualified CAD professionals will be able to cater for all your drawing requirements.

What product guarantees do you offer ?

All our products and services come with a full 12 month guarantee. Terms and conditions are applicable here though as for example, your unit will not be covered for accidental damaged caused by a third party.
K&D™ are experts in this field, if you require further information, advice or a free quotation please don’t hesitate to get in touch, call us today on +44 (0)191 534 3906
Remember, ALWAYS ask to see a copy of the test certificate for the curtain you are buying. If you don’t, the costs for a sub standard curtain might well be more than just in monitory terms. contact us for more details.

7 reasons to trust K & D Systems

  1. We're amazing value for money: all our manufacturing takes place within our plant in Sunderland.
  2. We have a team there to respond to all quotes within 24 hours.
  3. Our installation team have over 30 years' fitting experience.
  4. All our smoke and fire curtains are independently tested either by Warrington or Chiltern Fire and are fully certified.
  5. We offer controlled decent and gravity fail safe systems.
  6. We are continually investing in research and development.
  7. We offer a 3 day turnaround time* on production.

*3 day turnaround time subject to certain restrictions; please ask us.