Frequently Asked Questions About Automatic Fire Curtains

Last month, we wrote a blog about the five business types that we felt could benefit most from automatic fire curtains. We looked at schools, restaurants, hospitals, care homes, and warehouses. With this month’s blog, we’d like to answer some of the frequently asked questions about our automatic fire curtains. Keep reading if you’ve been considering investing in automatic fire curtains for a while and would like to learn a little more about them!

What are automatic fire curtains?

Let’s start off simple and move on from there. At first glance, fire curtains are exactly what they sound like: curtains that prevent the spread of fire. They work because they are made from extremely fire-resistant material that doesn’t burn for up to two hours, but often longer. This can slow the fire down enough to give the fire service enough time to get to your location and extinguish it. There is also the chance that the fire will burn itself out of fuel or run out of oxygen while it’s stuck behind your fire curtains.

Fire curtains are automatic when they are connected to your alarm system and triggered when your alarm goes off. This allows you to install fire curtains in quite obvious places without them getting in the way. Then, in the event of a fire, they only get in the way of the flames!

What are fire curtains made of?

Fire curtains are made from a complex combination of fire-resistant materials. They are fabric-based and are therefore foldable and ideal for companies who don’t want to invest in the more substantial  automatic fire shutters, which are made from metal links that melt and fuse shut in the event of a fire. If you’re looking for a good reason to invest in fire curtains over fire shutters, it’s the smaller scale of the installation and the overall expense.

How do fire curtains work?

We are often asked how fire curtains work. While we’ve more or less explained this above, we’d like to go into more detail in this section. Fire curtains slow down fires as they spread. Fire will always spread if there is fuel to burn and an ample oxygen supply, but it can’t spread past an inflammable material. Instead, it is forced to sit still for a while and burn the limited fuel. In some cases, this alone can be enough to extinguish the flames. In others, it at least slows the spread of fire enough to save lives and property. When the fire service arrives, it is much easier for them to fight the blaze if they can focus all of their efforts on wherever your fire curtains have contained the fire.

What kinds of businesses benefit from automatic fire curtains?

We won’t spend too much on this section as we covered it in lots of detail in last month’s blog post (linked above). But we’d like to provide a brief answer in this FAQ. In short, we think any business at risk of a fire could benefit from installing fire curtains. You can use fire curtains to protect vulnerable people in hospitals, care homes, and schools. You can also use fire curtains to protect valuable assets and machinery in warehouses and factories. Offices with lots of paper in their printer room can be protected with one or two well-placed fire curtains. Laboratories with many flammable chemicals can be surrounded by fire curtains to prevent a fire from spreading through to the rest of the building.

How to install fire curtains?

We can install your automatic fire curtains and we can’t recommend trying it yourself. In the event of fire, it is absolutely vital that all of your safety measures work without a hitch. If your fire curtains are a key part of your fire-safety setup, then it’s very important that they work in a crisis. Unless you can be absolutely certain of your ability to fit a fully-functional automatic fire curtain, it’s best to not risk it and to ask for our help instead!

How much do automatic fire curtains cost?

Given the different widths and heights of rooms, it’s impossible to give a general quote about the costs of automatic fire curtains. We can, however, give you a free quote if you get in touch with us. Once we’ve spoken to you, and perhaps taken a look around your premises, we’ll be able to give you an accurate quote for your fire curtain installation. This quote comes with no obligation and you can perhaps just take note of the cost and wait until a later time, when you have some spare budget.


We hope this blog post has answered all of the questions you have about automatic fire curtains. Fire curtains save lives and K and D Systems is very passionate about fire safety. We are more than happy to answer any further questions if you’d like to get in touch with us.

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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