COVID-19 Update - We are operating as usual while following health and safety guidelines to protect our staff. Please contact us for more information.

How Can Fire & Smoke Curtains Protect You?

orange flames

It’s no exaggeration to say that fire and smoke curtains can be the difference between life and death. Accidental fires can strike at any time and without warning so the necessary steps should be taken to ensure that people and property are protected.

We take fire safety seriously and so should you. We supply and manufacture highly protective custom fire curtains and smoke curtains but how do they work? How can they protect you and your property?

We answer those questions here.

Minimise property damage

Fire and smoke curtains not only provide protection for people to escape during a fire, but will also minimise the damage to property, whether that’s offices, theatres, care homes, or restaurants.

Fire and smoke curtains create breaks within the interior of the property and work to contain the destruction to as few areas of the building as possible – giving the fire services longer to arrive and extinguish the blaze before it spreads.

The reinforced, steel-based fire and smoke curtains creates an unrivalled barrier against both smoke and flames working to slow the progress of a fire and lowering the cost of repairs.

firefighters fighting fire

Protected means of escape

As we said above, fire and smoke curtains create breaks in the interior of the property. By sectioning various areas, they provide escape options as well as protection from the heat and smoke throughout the evacuation process.

So, installing fire curtains and smoke curtains can extend the potential escape time significantly.

We can provide expert advice regarding the strategic placement of fire and smoke curtains in your property to ensure that they’ll provide optimum protection for those in the building.

Ultimate 3 Fire Curtain K&D Systems

Protection from harmful smoke and gases

Studies have shown that exposure to heavy smoke, even for a short period of time, can affect lung function. In the worst case scenarios, some 50–80% of fire deaths are the result of smoke inhalation injuries, 

Exposure to dense smoke causes irritation of the eyes, mouth and air passages because of its physical, chemical and thermal properties. The majority of symptoms disappear soon after the person is removed from the smoky environment but in some people with underlying health conditions, they can develop into long-term problems if exposure persists.

Smoke curtains provide protection from this harmful smoke so people can escape safely and get to a smoke-free area.

Get a free quote today

Quality fire and smoke curtains are proven life saves. Can you really not afford to protect yourself and your property?

K&D Systems are experts in this field, if you require further information, advice or a free quotation please don’t hesitate to get in touch, email [email protected] or call us today on +44 (0)191 534 3906.

The A-F Of Fire Classes

There are many different classes of fire and each fire requires different kinds of fire extinguishing methods and tools. Understanding the difference between them could help save lives, save money, and prevent property damage – especially if a fire is in the workplace. 

So what are the different classes of fire and how can you fight them?

Class A – Ordinary Combustible Fires

This is the most common kind of fire with the materials involved in an ordinary fire being  things like paper, rubber, wood, and textiles. Ordinary combustible fires occur when fuel is heated and ignited. They’ll continue to burn if there is a supply of oxygen and ample fuel but they are also the easiest to fight as they can be extinguished with water which cools the fire down until it cannot stay alight. 

Fire Extinguishers For Class A Fires: It’s best to use either water- or foam-based extinguishers to put out a class A fire.

Class B – Flammable Liquid Fires

Petrol, alcohol, paints, solvents, and kerosene are all examples of common flammable liquids. Flammable liquid fires are extremely hot and spread very quickly. They also produce toxic black smoke that makes them particularly deadly and very hard to fight. 

Fire Extinguishers For Class B Fires: Foam fire extinguishers are the best option for flammable liquid fires as they suffocate the flames. Do not use water to fight this kind of fire as it splashes and scatters the liquid fuel, spreading the fire further.

Class C – Flammable Gas Fires 

Common flammable gases are propane, butane, and different petroleum gases. The lower explosive limit (LEL) is the minimum concentration of flammable gas in the air that might explode if ignited. For most flammable gases, the LEL is just 5%, making them incredibly dangerous if mismanaged. For flammable gas fires, it is always best to ensure that the gas supply has been cut off before you even attempt to fight the flames. Otherwise, you could be walking into a large explosion. 

Fire Extinguishers For Class C Fires: Whilst most fire extinguishers are ineffective at extinguishing flammable gas fires, dry powder extinguishers can be effective.

Class D – Metal Fires

It usually requires a significant amount of heat to ignite metals because they are very good conductors and transfer heat away quickly and efficiently. However, metal powder or metal shavings are much easier to ignite as they do not conduct heat as well. Some metals such as sodium, aluminium, magnesium, and potassium actually burn when they come into contact with water and air, so water and foam fire extinguishers are out of the question and may cause a violent explosive reaction. If there’s a large amount of burning metal, it’s probably best to let it burn out naturally as metal fires produce a lot of ash that usually starves the fire of oxygen after a while.

Fire Extinguishers For Class D Fires: If you spot a metal fire early enough, then a powder fire extinguisher will work, but only if it is the dry power variety – the other variety will make matters worse.

Class E – Electrical Fires

Class E fires are fuelled by electrical appliances such as TVs, computers and hair dryers. Extinguishing them can be difficult and very dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. 

Before you even think about extinguishing an electrical fire, it is important to turn off the source of electricity to the fire. Don’t use water or foam-based extinguishers on electrical fires even when the electricity source has been cut off. Instead, use dry powder and carbon dioxide fire extinguishers as they’ll starve the fire of oxygen without running the risk of conducting electricity.

Fire Extinguishers For Class E Fires: The appropriate extinguishers used to tackle a class E fire include CO2 gas or a dry powder extinguisher.

Class F – Cooking Oil Fires

Cooking oil fires are very common in both homes and commercial kitchens. One of the worst things you can do is use water or a water-based fire extinguisher to try and fight the flames. The water is more likely to scatter the oil, causing the fire to spread even faster and cause the hot oil to splatter in all directions.

Wet chemical extinguishers have a special formula that cools down the cooking oil and also emulsifies so that the surface of the cooking oil is sealed, stopping oxygen from getting at it, thus preventing reignition.

Fire Extinguishers For Class F Fires: Specialist wet chemical extinguishers have been developed to help fight cooking oil fires. 

Our Fire Curtains Work On All Fire Classes

Regardless of the kind of fire, they all work the same way with three different components; fuel, heat, and oxygen. It’s the type of fuel involved that changes the class of fire that you’re dealing with.

Our fire curtains and fire shutters work by preventing the fire spreading into the next room, finding more fuel and a fresh oxygen source. 

If you’re interested in our expert advice or further information about our services, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

FAQs: Fire Curtains, Smoke Curtains and Fire Shutters

burning wood

This month we want to share some common questions we get asked around fire curtains, smoke curtains and fire shutters. Read through the questions and answers below and get in touch with our team if you have any further questions.

Q: What is a fire curtain and what does it 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.

Discrete and lightweight, fire curtains provide you with an alternative to fire shutters and fire doors while being equally as effective.

Q: Why use our fire curtain system?

Choosing from our range of Ultimate Fire Curtains has number of benefits, including:

  • Slim and lightweight fire curtains for minimum footprint and disruption to your building
  • Unlimited width fire curtains with a drop of up to 8 metres
  • Insulated and uninsulated designs available
  • All driven by 24V and 240V-operated motors (will work during the event of loss of mains power)
  • Easy installation
  • Delivery will take between 2 to 5 working days

Q: What is a smoke curtain and what does it do?

A smoke curtain is very similar to a fire curtain but it is designed to channel toxic fumes to a safe exit point in a building. However, unlike a fire curtain, a smoke curtain does not need side guides and doesn’t 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.

firefighters fighting fire

Q: 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. The Rhino FPS™ system offers all the values of a traditional shutter but with added fire protection.

Q: Why use our Rhino FPS™ fire shutter systems?

Choosing from our range of Rhino FPS™ fire shutters has number of benefits, includi

  • Our Rhino FPST fire shutter is certified to offer four hours protection
  • We can design and build up to 7m wide and 7m high to meet your specifications
  • Choose the way it can be operated to suit you and your business
  • Rhino FPST fire shutters are stronger and can be exposed to climate conditions making them perfect for external use

firefighter

Q: 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. An insulated curtain has undergone additional testing to ensure compliance and this is the type of curtain that councils often specify as required.

Q: Will I be able to see the fire curtain or a fire shutter once it’s installed?

Fire curtain systems are much smaller than fire shutters. If there is a void above the location where you want the fire curtain to be fixed then we will often 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’ll 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 doesn’t mean we cannot make them less obvious though.

Where 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 imagine, trying to hide such a large system is a little more difficult but not unachievable.

Q: Are fire curtains, smoke curtains and fire shutters expensive?

Smoke curtains are usually the cheapest to manufacture as they take less time, less steel and less man hours to manufacture and install.

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

Insulated fire curtains tend to be the most expensive. On average, insulated fire curtain material is 3 times more expensive to buy than non-insulated fire curtain material. 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 worldwide that manufacture insulated curtain material.

Fire shutters are at the top end along with insulated fire curtains when it comes to price. These systems are very complicated, contain substantially more steel and require high skill levels 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 cost increases accordingly.

Q: Do fire curtains, smoke curtains and fire shutters need to be inspected on a regular basis?

The answer to this depends on how active your protection system is. If you perform a fire est every week then you really should have them inspected every quarter. Less active systems 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.

However, if a system has been damaged in some way then it’s very important that your system is checked immediately.

Q: If I order a smoke curtain, fire curtain or fire shutter from K&D Systems today, how long would it take to manufacture and install?

We 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 depends on how many units are to be installed but it can start from as little as 4 hours. 

Q: Do K&D Systems supply your products and services outside of the UK?

In short, yes.

We regularly manufacture and supply all 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.

Q: Do I need to supply project drawings?

If you can supply CAD drawings to us, then we will be able 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. Please note that rough drawings will only enable us to give rough prices, for an exact quotation a site survey will be required.

Don’t worry if you can’t supply CAD drawings, our in-house qualified CAD professionals will be able to cater for all your drawing requirements.

Q: 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 damage caused by a third party.

Get a free quote today

K&D Systems 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.

Get to Know K&D Systems

We talk a lot about all things fire safety from fire safety equipment and workplace fire safety to fire safety audits and more. This month, we want to share some more information about us – K&D Systems.

Who are K&D Systems?

K&D are a full service smoke and fire curtain company who have the knowledge and skills to work with our clients from the design and manufacturing process right through to installation.

We design, manufacture, install and maintain:

Our head office is based in Sunderland, Tyne & Wear, but we cover all areas within the UK and Ireland. We have over 30 years of experience in installing fire and roller shutters as well as automatic fire curtains and smoke curtains for major UK companies.

Major Projects We’ve Worked On

We’ve worked on a number of high profile fire curtain and smoke curtain projects at a range of locations including at Wembley Arena, Salisbury Racecourse, Birmingham, Gatwick Airports and Westfield Shopping centre in Derby to name but a few.

The History of K&D Systems

K&D Systems were formed with a view to offer the Industry a greater choice in improved technology to meet modern demands internationally. Our aim is to provide high quality smoke and fire containment systems through a network of international trading partners who can rely on our expertise and innovative approach to engineering safe and reliable smoke and fire containment systems.

Our Fire Protection Products

Our Ultimate Fire Curtain range includes:

Ultimate 1  Fire Curtain

  • 180 minutes Fire ProtectionUltimate 1 Fire Curtain K&D Systems
  • This patented design means the Ultimate Fire Curtain can not be beaten
  • THE ULTIMATE LIFE SAFETY PRODUCT

Ultimate 1 Fire Curtain K&D Systems

Ultimate 2  Fire, Smoke & Heat Curtain

  • 240 minutes Fire ProtectionUltimate 2 Fire Curtain K&D Systems
  • Smoke tested to BSEN 1634-3-2004
  • 77 Minutes Heat Protection
  • This patented design means the Ultimate Fire Curtain can not be beaten
  • THE ULTIMATE LIFE SAFETY PRODUCT

Ultimate 2 Fire Curtain K&D Systems

Ultimate 3 Overlapping Fire Curtain

  • 180 minutes Fire Protection Ultimate 3 Fire Curtain K&D Systems
  • 151 Minutes Heat Protection
  • This patented design means the Ultimate Fire Curtain can not be beaten
  • THE ULTIMATE LIFE SAFETY PRODUCT

Ultimate 3 Fire Curtain K&D Systems

Ultimate 4 Insulated Zone Fire Smoke & Heat Curtain

  • 420 minutes Fire ProtectionUltimate 4 Fire Curtain K&D Systems.jpg
  • Smoke tested to BSEN 1634-3-2004
  • 155 Minutes Radiation
  • This patented design means the Ultimate Fire Curtain can not be beaten
  • THE ULTIMATE LIFE SAFETY PRODUCT

Ultimate 4 Fire Curtain K&D Systems.jpg

The Fire and Smoke Curtain Experts

Our ethos at K&D has always been to provide excellent customer service and to build strong relationships with our customers. We offer our customers excellent value for money and all of the products we install are of the highest quality.

If you’re interested in our expert advice or further information about our services, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

COVID-19: Fire Safety Advice for Businesses

The Coronavirus epidemic has changed the lives of everyone over the last year, and will continue to have an impact for many years to come.

When it comes to businesses, jobs, operations, and offices, we are all working to find ways to move forward and get back to “normal”.

For businesses who are continuing to operate, or planning to open up as lockdown restrictions ease, we want to share some fire safety advice.

Your business may not look the same as it did before, but the need for fire safety remains constant.

Undertake a fire risk assessment

A fire can devastate your building premises, cause disruption and loss of revenues, as well as potential injuries. Not only that, but failure to meet Government fire regulations can land you in legal trouble.

So, where should you start?

All business premises require a fire safety assessment. It will help make sure your business premise is prepared to reopen safely and mitigate the risks to the building, staff, and customers.

Review your fire curtain needs

A fire curtain is a temporary wall that will descend from the ceiling to provide a blockage or obstacle partition in-between two areas when a fire occurs. It will help save your life and prevent smoke and flames from spreading throughout your building or business. 

Restaurants, with their open flames and cooking equipment, are an obvious business type that should have a fire curtain fitted as a protective measure to deal with the worst-case scenario.

A carefully placed fire curtain between the kitchen and the bar may be the most sensible option, but one of our expert advisors would be more than happy to make other suggestions specific to your premises.

Whatever your business or building type, we can provide expert advice tailored to your specific needs.

Check your fire extinguishers

Fire extinguishers come in a variety of different forms. All of them are pressurised containers filled with fire-extinguishing material. They can be filled with water (with water additives), foam, carbon dioxide, or powder.

Just as with fire alarms, it’s important to have your fire extinguishers checked regularly. You don’t want to discover your fire extinguisher doesn’t work when you need it most.

If there’s been some staff changes, you need to check that you have enough people on the premises who have been trained to use a fire extinguisher.

Test your fire alarms

Fire alarms can sense heat and are available with a range of additional features including sprinkler systems.

Every business should have a fully-functioning and regularly tested fire alarm. With larger premises having fire alarms as part of a wider system that can be linked directly to local authorities for faster response times.

Make sure your fire alarm system is fully functioning and has been tested, particularly if your business premises have been sat empty for a long time during lockdown.

Get in touch with K&D Systems

For more fire safety advice and a free fire curtain quotation, contact the K&D Systems team. Talk to one of our expert advisors and tell us exactly what you’re looking for.

Give us a ring on 0800 092 1588 or email [email protected]

Fire Curtain Maintenance is Essential

Fire curtains work by reducing the risk of a fire spreading in a building. This helps to reduce and prevent damage to property but more importantly it can be the difference between life and death.

It’s importance can’t be underestimated.

However, having a fire curtain installed is only the first step. You need to make sure the fire curtain is properly maintained to ensure it works as intended should the worst happen.

Maintaining Your Fire Curtain Over Time

As the building occupier, you need to ensure that you are taking all the necessary precautions with your property and fire curtain maintenance is a big part of that.

Failing to follow a fire curtain maintenance programme could leave the building and its occupants vulnerable to risks of fire. You would also be violating fire regulations and insurance requirements of your building.

So, how often do you need to have maintenance work done on your fire curtain?

The frequency depends on how active your fire protection system is. 

If you perform a fire test every week, you should have them inspected every quarter. However, less active systems will usually only need to be inspected yearly to make sure that your system has no critical wear and tear.

Of course, if a system has been damaged in some way, you must get it checked immediately.

Our Fire Curtain Maintenance Programme

As a full service fire curtain company, we have the knowledge and skills to work with our clients from the design stage through to installation and then ongoing maintenance. 

We manufacture, install and maintain:

For each automatic fire curtain that K&D Systems installs, we agree on a maintenance programme that includes guaranteed backup and support as well as online telephone advice and support.

Get in Touch with the K&D Team

Fire curtains are built to save lives so making sure they are working correctly and effectively is of paramount importance. If the unthinkable should happen, don’t let your system fail because of maintenance neglect.

Get in touch with the K&D Systems team today for more advice and a free quotation.

 

8 Essential Types of Fire Safety Equipment

Fire safety is essential in every building – from the regulations in place during planning and construction to the placement and maintenance of a fully functioning fire safety equipment in any finished residential, commercial or industry building. 

The fire curtains, smoke curtains, and fire shutters that we manufacture and install here at K&D Systems all help fight fires and slow them down, but they’re only part of the solution. Investing in some or all of the fire safety equipment mentioned below should also be part of your fire safety set-up. 

  • Fire Curtains
  • Smoke Curtains
  • Fire Shutters
  • Smoke Detectors & Fire Alarms
  • Fire Extinguishers
  • Fire Buckets & Blankets

Keep reading to learn more about these 8 fire safety tools.

Fire Curtains

When it comes to fire safety equipment, a fire curtain seems like an obvious place for us to start! As fire curtain specialists, we can offer over 30 years of invaluable experience in dealing with fire in homes and businesses. Our expert team can provide wholesale fire safety solutions and advice to help safeguard your property against the potential threat of a disastrous fire.

A fire curtain is a temporary wall that will descend from the ceiling to provide a blockage or obstacle partition in-between two areas when a fire occurs. It will help save your life and prevent smoke and flames from spreading throughout your building or business. 

Our range of Fire Curtains are by far the strongest and best range of fire curtains on the market today. They can withstand fire, smoke and heat up to 180 minutes, 180 minutes & 77 minutes with the same curtain – making the Ultimate fire curtains the ultimate life safety product.

Automatic Smoke Curtains

When people consider the main cause of fire-related deaths, many assume it would be burning, however, it is smoke inhalation that will kill people first. This makes smoke curtains a powerful tool that can help prevent further damage, and ultimately, save lives.

K&D Systems manufacture automatic smoke curtains that are designed to hold back the smoke and allow people to escape to safety, offering them one hour of protection. 

Fire Shutters

If you need something that is more robust than fire curtains or smoke curtains, it could be time to look into fire shutters

The rigidity of a fire shutter not only helps prevent the spread of fire, but also provides added security to the outside of your building. Fire shutters can be exposed to a range of climate conditions so are perfect for external use.

Fire shutters are available in a range of sizes and with different modes of operation so you can find one that is perfectly suited to your building to ensure maximum protection and efficiency.

Smoke Detectors & Fire Alarms

Smoke detectors and fire alarms are both essential but they serve different functions.

A smoke detector picks up on smoke particles proliferating in the air and usually responds with a high-pitched audio alarm that alerts household members.

In larger homes, smoke alarms can be fitted as a connected system, where when one alarm is triggered, every other alarm responds. With older people more prone to being injured – or worse – during a fire, smoke detectors that respond with flashing lights are also available to purchase for people with hearing impairments.

Fire alarms, on the other hand, can also sense heat – as well as do everything a smoke detector can. Available with a range of additional features, including sprinkler systems, a fire alarm is more often part of a wider, linked system, and can be linked directly to local authorities for faster response times. Fire alarms do have a longer lifespan than standard smoke detectors, but only if they are regularly maintained.

Every home should have a fully-functioning and regularly tested smoke detector, while a fire alarm would be more suited to a non-residential property. 

Fire Extinguishers

This is often the first thing most people think of when asked to think of fire safety equipment. Fire extinguishers come in a variety of different forms. All of them are pressurised containers filled with fire-extinguishing material. They can be filled with water (with water additives), foam, carbon dioxide, or powder.

When working out which fire extinguisher you need for your home or workplace, it’s worth considering which type of fire is most likely to ignite. Once you know which kind of fire is most likely to start in your home or workplace, then you’ll know what kind of fire extinguisher you should buy.

Do not use a fire extinguisher to prop open a door. Ensure it is properly attached to a wall. And just as with fire alarms, it’s important to have your fire extinguishers checked regularly. You don’t want to discover your fire extinguisher doesn’t work when you need it most.

Fire Buckets & Blankets

Fire buckets are a simplistic piece of equipment that normally come in the form of a red plastic or metal bucket with “fire” written on it. Fire buckets are set out in strategic positions to provide people with a large enough container to fill with water or firefighting powder in an emergency. 

Having a large bucket to hand is very useful in a fire and they are cheap and require no maintenance, so there’s no excuse for not picking up a few if you’re serious about fire safety.

Fire blankets are made from fire-resistant material such as wool and fibreglass They help fight fires by reducing the oxygen supply to a fire, cutting off this key part of the fire triangle. Obviously, a fire blanket will be less useful in the event of a large fire, but they are perfect for smaller fires.

Fire Safety Equipment to Keep People & Property Safe

Knowing that the right equipment is in place can give you peace of mind and, more importantly, keep people and property safe.

If you have any questions about anything we’ve talked about here or want advice on your fire safety strategy, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Fire Safety for Businesses Reopening After Lockdown

Many restaurants and businesses are reopening after lockdown. Everyday business may not look the same as it used to as people and businesses adhere to government guidelines but it is still vital to prioritise fire safety.

Fire Safety in Newly Reopened Restaurants

Many restaurants have reopened – albeit now with most only offering takeaway options. Even though restaurants won’t have the same numbers of people inside, fire safety in restaurants should still be taken seriously.

With open flames, cooking equipment and electrical appliances, restaurant kitchens are always at high risk of fire. A fire can devastate your restaurant and cause disruption and loss of revenues, as well as potential injuries. Not only that, but failure to meet Government fire regulations can land you in legal trouble.

So it is essential that you have protective measures in place to help you deal with the worst-case scenario.

A carefully placed fire curtain between the kitchen and the bar may be the most sensible option, but one of our expert advisors would be more than happy to make other suggestions specific to your premises.

Fire Safety Considerations as People Return to the Office

Many people have returned to the daily commute and are spending their days in the office. While good news for many, there is still a fire safety aspect that needs to be taken into account.

No matter how digital an office becomes, there is still likely to be a pile of paperwork, a number of workstations, a network of energy supplies and cables, and a team of people. When electrical items, combustible materials, and people combine, in any environment, the risk of fire can’t be ignored.

Understandably, the bigger the office and the workforce, the more complex the fire safety requirements become, but it is all part of the same legally responsible and legally enforceable set of regulations.

When it comes to fire safety in the traditional office, there are many aspects to consider from fire safety tools and equipment to fire drills and fire safety risk assessment.

Working From Home

While many have returned to the office, a growing number of people are continuing to work from home.

Home workers need to make sure that they understand how fire safety regulations apply to them, even if they’re only working from home one day a week.

Whether the home office is a separate room in the home or just a simple workstation nestled into a small corner of the home, the home is now a workplace and the homeworker becomes responsible for fire safety.

This includes having regularly tested smoke alarms, looking after and checking electrical appliances, not overloading wall sockets, and avoiding keeping flammable materials near your wires.

Get in Touch With K&D Systems

Get in touch with the K&D Systems team today for more fire safety advice and a free fire curtain quotation.

Fire safety in timber buildings

burning wood

It’s vitally important that your home or business has an adequate fire safety plan to help combat the risks that are posed in the event of a fire. Although most businesses are legally required to possess a thought-out and certified fire safety plan and various fire exits and extinguishers, fire safety in the home can often be neglected.

In the UK, the majority of our homes are built with bricks and stone, simply because this is what the rainy weather permits, providing ample insulation and water tightness in the face of that British weather. However, across the pond, in the likes of the USA as well as throughout Europe, many homes and buildings are built using timber.

This can make them more susceptible to the threat of fires and their rapid spread, with a large fire threatening the whole structural integrity of a building and spreading at a much faster rate.

This guide is designed to advise you on how to ensure that your timber buildings are meeting health and safety guidelines and are safeguarded against the potential threat of any fires that could occur, making these timber buildings safer to use, whether they form your home or workplace.

What is fire safety?

Fire safety seems like an obvious and important area of ensuring that your employees and family are safe, but many people neglect the vital rules of keeping their homes safe.

Fire safety effectively refers to the measures you take in your home or workplace to ensure that the chances of a fire occurring are reduced to a minimum – and that, in the event of a fire, the chance of the fire rapidly spreading is reduced as much as possible. This also means developing planned and tested fire escape routes as well as kitting out your home or workplace with extinguishers and other helpful aids.

Many different companies are throwing a lot of funding into the research and development surrounding fire safety products, and no example situations highlight this more than the research and innovation behind the Sunderland firm K & D Systems.

K & D Systems offer a selection of products, from smoke and fire curtains that suffocate the fire and prevent it from spreading to further safeguarding solutions surrounding apartments and timber buildings. Continue reading below to find out more about K & D Systems and their product range, as well as how they took their place among the leading names and fire curtain specialists across the UK.

Who are K & D Systems?

K & D Systems are experts in fire safety and fire prevention products, with over 30 years’ experience of working in the industry and constantly adapting to innovations and new technologies that will ultimately save lives in our workplaces and homes.

The company is based in the North East of England, with all of their design, production and manufacturing carried out from their Sunderland headquarters. This situation has enabled K & D Systems to safeguard and work with some of the country’s largest establishments.

K & D Systems have worked with the likes of Wembley Arena, the Derby-based Westfield Shopping centre, and major international airports in Birmingham and Gatwick to install cost-effective fire safety solutions. These have included fire and smoke curtains and shutters, as well as fire safety window and wall systems that are designed to counter the threat of a growing fire.

With a constant eye on innovation and bespoke design, K & D Systems offer excellent products and customer service that have allowed them to harvest strong and trusted relationships with their clients as well as deliver products that are durable and fit for purpose – and, most importantly, save lives. All of their products are independently checked by fire services to ensure that they are fit for purpose when a fire does occur.

Fire safety in timber buildings

The parameters that need to be taken or considered when working with timber buildings are very different to the equivalent parameters pertaining to standard brick-and-stone buildings that are common throughout the UK. However, although our homes are often made of bricks and mortar, many of us possess sheds, conservatories and extensions or loft spaces that aren’t made from the same durable materials.

Although fires can often affect different materials indiscriminately, the rapid spread of a fire is drastically increased when it comes to timber buildings.

Timber buildings are perhaps most common in countries where hotter and drier climates are more consistent, and a cool house is preferred to an insulated one. Timber is also cheaper than stone and brick. Still, how do you effectively combat a timber building against a fire and ensure that all of the fire safety measures are included in the structure?

  • Compartmentalisation in timber buildings

One of the main methods of preventing the spread of fire in timber buildings is by working fire safety solutions into the complex structural integrity and architecture of the building.

Similarly to the way that K and D systems fire curtains help compartmentalise certain spaces and reduce the rapid spread of fire, timber buildings should be compartmentalised by using certain materials to deflect the fire and halt its advance. This can be done by delivering certain insulation, thermal and integral systems room-to-room to ensure that the fire isn’t given the chance to spread further.

This process involves designing a timber building that is built with layered systems from the ground up, using different timber materials to stifle the growth of the fire. Architects in Sweden have proven that layered design from the floor up and room-to-room in timber structures helps to reduce the speed at which a fire can spread. These architects have advised that using a range of woods, from plywood to different veneers, can prove to be an effective fire safety solution.

The best means of ensuring that your timber buildings are adequately prepared in the face of a fire is by ensuring that they have been checked by a professional during the construction and design. Every building under construction now requires a fire safety assessment called a SHEVS assessment.

K & D Systems offer their services and provide advice on how their fire safety solutions, fire and smoke curtains and shutters and doors can provide adequate fire safety solutions. K & D Systems work with engineers and architects to ensure that buildings are erected with safety and evacuation in mind.

What types of products can help you with fire safety?

There are many different products available from K & D Systems that can help your business in the event of a fire. With many years of experience in the industry and a thorough understanding of how a fire can spread, K & D provide homes and businesses with smoke and fire curtains, barriers and shutters and doors that can help to prevent the spread of a fire. Here are just a few of the products available at K & D Systems…

  • Fire and smoke curtains

The fire and smoke curtains available from K & D Systems can be quickly manufactured and installed with as little hassle or disruption as possible. K & D manufacture bespoke fire curtains that are available at a width of any length and a maximum lowering drop of 8 metres to help reduce the spread of fire.

The durable and weighted materials from which the curtains are made help to compartmentalise open plan buildings and stop a fire from spreading by starving the flame of oxygen. These materials also reduce the chances of harmful chemical smoke spreading and suffocating the people inside the building.

A fire curtain can provide between 2 and 4 hours to help you to evacuate your building in time. The curtain can also help ensure that the fire brigade has the easiest job possible in extinguishing the flames with as little damage to the building as possible.

  • Fire rated windows and systems

K & D Systems also provide fireproof partition walls and door systems that serve as a more permanent solution in combatting those flames. Where a fire curtain can be lowered, a portioning wall can be a permanent fixture in your home or office space, offering solutions to put your mind at rest in the event of a fire.

Our windows, walls and door systems are fitted with fireproof glass as well as insulated wall space fitted with special boats and aluminium that can provide up to 90 minutes of thermal protection.

Is threat of fire a real problem in the UK?

Unlike in other countries, there often isn’t the threat of widespread fire issues that can occur in hotter countries. We’re constantly seeing forest fires ravaging European countryside and hillside neighbourhoods in the USA, but the wetter climates in the UK don’t really allow for this to happen.

The threat of fire in the UK is mostly penned down to neglect or arson. The neglect can be as minimal as failing to turn off electrical appliances when you’re not using them or choosing to ignore the potential signs of fire hazards in your home or workplace.

Should I complete a home or office risk assessment?

Completing a fire risk assessment in your home or office space can be your first step to ensuring that you are following all the necessary procedures to make sure your employees and family are safe should a fire start. These measures can be as simple as conducting regular fire drills to ensure that everyone is familiar with the fire escape route as well as being educated on the threat of fire and how to reduce its spread to a minimum.

You could ensure that your building’s doors are closed at night to prevent the circulation of smoke, verify that you have working fire alarms, and also turn off any electrical appliances when they are out of use.

K & D systems are dedicated to ensuring that your homes and businesses are adequately fireproofed and you’re constantly kept in the loop surrounding the changing innovations within the industry. We can also repair your fire safety systems as quickly as possible.

With a combined 100 years of experience across the fire safety industry, research and development, and engineering, our Sunderland-based team possess valuable insights into the way buildings are constructed, the pre-empted solutions that we need to supply, and how our products can benefit a business.

Don’t look past K & D Systems as your fire curtain manufacturing and installation specialists. Give us a call to begin the start of a long and trusted professional customer relationship.

Explained: Fire curtain installation

firefighters fighting fire

K & D Systems offer invaluable solutions to help businesses, homeowners and shopping centres as well as a wide range of establishments to deal with their fire safety concerns. K & D provides fire safety solutions in the form of fire and smoke curtains, fireproof windows, and partition walls and ceilings.

Their fire curtains provide up to 4 hours of protection against the spread of flames and the circulation of smoke, freeing up time for people to evacuate the building and for the fire services to arrive and put out the flames. This guide will inform you about the ins and outs of the processes involved with regard to the manufacture of fire curtains and the installation process involved, which will depend on your establishment.

Once we’ve manufactured your bespoke fire curtain, we get them independently checked by fire services. We then send one of our installation experts out on the job to quickly and efficiently install your fire curtain in a way that will allow you to get the most benefit from your curtain.

Continue reading this guide to find out more about the business behind the innovative quality curtain as well as learn more about how a fire curtain works. You can also learn about its manufacturing and installation, as well as the reasons you should purchase a fire curtain for your business, home or establishment.

Who are K & D Systems?

K & D Systems possess over 30 years’ experience of working within the fire safety industry and are considered to be the fire safety specialists throughout the UK and Ireland. Their client base is large and diverse, with clients ranging from the Wembley Arena in London to the Westfield shopping centre in Derby as well as busy, safety-orientated international airports in Birmingham and Gatwick.

Their diverse client base, built on strong and continuous relationships, shows K & D Systems to be a trusted member of the fire safety industry, with the professional backing of fire services responsible for independently testing their products to ensure their safety of use.

From their base in Sunderland, where their manufacturing centre is located, K & D Systems provide transparent information surrounding the expert design, manufacturing and installation of their fire curtains, providing durable and discrete curtains as well as shutters and flame-retardant doors.

The slim and lightweight curtains produced by K & D Systems provide the smallest carbon footprint and fewest emissions possible; they also allow the installation experts at K & D to create as little disruption and cost to your business as possible during the installation period.

It’s not just in fire curtains and the materials they comprise where K & D excel; they are also suitably qualified and experienced to repair the motors and alarm systems that are vital to the correct and versatile function of your new or ageing fire curtain. K & D pride themselves on the products that they create and are always turning to research and development as a means to improve their products and make your businesses a safer place to be in the event of a fire.

What is a fire curtain?

As elements of fire safety, fire curtains are reasonably misunderstood to business owners and the general layman but are perhaps the best products on the market for preventing fires and the smoke that rises from them from circulating throughout your building. A fire curtain is made from durable and lightweight materials to allow for discreet storage when out of use and can be automatically descended via an alarm system that is linked to your smoke alarm system.

The purpose of a fire alarm is to form a partition between two large areas to help slow down the rapid spread of a fire and the smoke that it releases. Similarly to how we’re taught to close doors within our home to prevent the spread of fire in our homes, a fire curtain is a more technical, successful version of this.

A fire curtain can provide between 2 and 4 hours of delay time or protection against the threat of fire, helping to block fire escape routes so that employees or people can be evacuated safely. Then, the fire services can arrive and resolve the issue while as little disruption as possible has occurred.

The fire curtains available at K & D Systems are available to be manufactured and installed at any width with, a maximum decline drop of 8 metres. This diversification in bespoke manufacturing and fire curtain installation means that K & D can cater for a wide range of establishments and structural shapes.

5 steps of fire curtain installation and manufacturing

By now, you may want to know more about the process that K & D Systems takes when planning, offering quotes, designing, manufacturing and installing the fire curtains that you have ordered from us. This part of the guide is designed to give you invaluable insight into the design process and how we go from your initial call to providing an intrinsic fire safety system for your business, residential building or establishment.

Continue reading below to look into the steps involved in producing your fire safety products.

  1. Give us a call and acquire a quote

This will be your first point of contact with K & D Systems, so we want you to feel assured and confident in our ability to provide you with adequate fire safety solutions at a fair price. We won’t bore you with technical jargon surrounding the fire curtains or their composition, but will offer you friendly and efficient customer service where your needs are understood and the plans for your bespoke products are made quickly.

We always aim to get the final quote back to you within 24 hours, meaning that our products can get to work in saving lives as quickly as possible. This is the point when you discuss how many fire curtains you may need, their size, your current fire safety arrangements and the nature of your business.

  1. We design and manufacture your products

K & D Systems are based in the North East of England in Sunderland, but their products are available to the whole country, with products across the UK and Ireland. Our headquarters have been in Sunderland for over 30 years, so we feel safe in calling ourselves fire safety or fire curtain experts.

One of our designers will take your measurements and the plans of your quote and provide a highly technical design brief for our manufacturing technicians to create your curtains quickly and with quality. Your blinds will be made up of durable materials to help combat the fire. The curtains will also come with a series of hidden motors and electrics to help operate the alarm sensors that allow for the release and decline of the blinds.

  1. Delivery and Installation

Once your products have been manufactured and independently checked by Chiltern fire service, it means that we can now distribute your fire safety curtains and arrive at your premises to install them. Usually, we aim for roughly a 3-day turnaround to produce your curtains, but the time for installation can take longer.

We arrive on the job with all of the tools and equipment needed to quickly and efficiently fit your fire safety curtain as well as complete any electrical and sensor work in relation to the alarm systems and the motor that allows the fire curtain to drop.

Once the curtain has been installed, we will offer any advice surrounding your fire safety procedure and be on our way. Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’re looking for any further advice concerning the output or repair of your curtain.

What types of fire curtains are available and where are they most suited to?

K & D Systems offer numerous different fire curtains that can have wholesale benefits for your fire safety procedure, the evacuation of your employees and the structural integrity of a building in the event of a fire. We cater to an extensive range of buildings and establishments, and our client base shows that.

Whether you run a commercial residence, a large open plan building, a hospital or a school, our fire safety curtains are perfect for isolating specific areas from the flames and creating a fire barrier for up to 4 hours.

K & D systems have recently released a new innovation called the Twin Skin curtain. This is an un-insulated fire curtain that can prevent the spread of fire for up to two hours. Working in a similar fashion to our other products, the Twin Skin curtain will provide that much-needed period to allow the fire brigade to arrive and for you to safely evacuate your staff or residents.

You can always guarantee that, when you become a client of K & D Systems, you can expect a dedicated personal service that’s on hand when you need us. This service involves quick call out for any repairs or defects as well as advice surrounding fire safety over the phone. We value our customers and their safety.

Additionally, our manufacturing team are able to design fire curtains up to any width – whatever the structure of your building, we can accommodate you. Our fire curtains possess a maximum dropdown of 8 metres, which is usually suitable for most commercial buildings. Why not send us your measurements and requirements today and see how we can help you out?

Why do I need a fire curtain?

Fire curtains are vital for helping to reduce the risk of a spreading fire in your home, business or establishment. Often, modern buildings are built with open plan, accessible spaces – meaning that, if a fire does occur, there remains plenty of space and oxygen for the fire to spread.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t make the most of your open plan spaces. Fire curtains provide a discreet, storable curtain that can be activated and lowered when a fire occurs, effectively partitioning the room into two or three spaces depending on how many curtains you have.

This will reduce the opportunity for the fire to grow and spread, as the curtain will cut out the oxygen supply to the flame as well as reduce the opportunity for toxic fumes to circulate. A fire curtain will also provide time to evacuate employees and necessary time for the fire brigade to expertly tackle the fire.

K & D Systems are dedicated to sustaining their mantle as the number one fire safety curtain experts in their country by constantly delivering lifesaving fire solutions. This expertise and 30 years of experience is noticeable from their initial quotation service all the way through to their design and manufacturing – and, most importantly, the effective and hassle-free installation service of the fire curtains.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the fire safety products that K & D manufacture and feel like your business or establish could benefit from our products, then don’t hesitate to get in touch or visit us online to find out more.

6 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. We offer controlled descent and gravity fail safe systems.
  5. We are continually investing in research and development.
  6. We offer a 3 day turnaround time* on production.

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

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