Why are Automatic Fire Curtains Necessary for Some Businesses?


In the K&D Fire and Smoke Protection Systems blog, we like to discuss fire safety issues and to educate potential customers about the uses and advantages of our fire curtains, smoke curtains, and fire shutters. Last month, we published a blog that covered everything you could want to know about automatic fire curtains. With today’s blog, we’d like to expand on the discussion of automatic fire curtains, looking at why they’re necessary for some businesses, focusing on a few specific kinds of workplace, including offices, hospitals, warehouses, and factories.

All Injuries Cost Money and Diminish Your Workforce

This first section is a defence of all health and safety measures — not just fire curtains. If you aren’t convinced that workplace safety is particularly important, then you probably haven’t found your way to our site and onto this blog post. So we may be preaching to the converted here. However, it’s useful (and interesting) to consider the amount of labour you could lose each year from injuries and the potential costs incurred as a result. These costs go up astronomically if you consider the loss of valuable assets in a workplace fire.

The best, most recent, data on workplace injuries comes from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) whose 2016/17 figures found that there were 609,000 non-fatal injuries to workers that were reported by employees, and 70,116 non-fatal injuries to workers reported by employers. Workplace injuries harm employees, cost a lot of money and, if they are severe enough, they can cause lengthy absences from work. In fact, the HSE found that, in 2016/17, there were 434,000 injuries that resulted in employees missing up to 7 days of work, and 175,000 injuries that resulted in employees missing over 7 days of work.

Anything you can do to reduce workplace injuries will not only protect your employees’ wellbeing, it will have the knock-on effect of protecting your overall workforce and your business as a whole. So, any relevant, useful safety equipment can and will pay for itself in the long run. The only difficult calculation to make is working out which safety equipment is worth the spend and which isn’t. There are many businesses with specific workplaces that would benefit from our automatic fire curtains and we’d like to spend the rest of this blog post discussing each type of workplace in a little detail.

Why Automatic Fire Curtains Might be Necessary for Offices

Offices are particularly at risk of fire due to the high amount of paper (which serves as fuel) and computers, printers, electrical appliances (which, due to heat and electricity, are possible ignition sources). The best place to install an automatic fire curtain in an office will depend on your premises and our advisors would be able to offer expert insight. However, a good strategy is to block off the biggest fire risk from the rest of the building so as to greatly impede the spread of the fire. Perhaps the most at-risk area is the printer room as printers get hot and there is plenty of paper. A small automatic fire curtain fitted above the door to your printer room could save a lot of damage (and money) in the long run.

Why Automatic Fire Curtains Might be Necessary for Hospitals/Clinics

Any hospital, clinic, or care home will have patients/clients as well as staff, so there is the added risk to the public as well as to your own employees. And in the case of hospitals and care homes, patients/clients are usually vulnerable and often have mobility issues. This means that they may not be able to make a quick exit through the fire escape the way a more able-bodied person could. This is why fire curtains are necessary; they will slow down the spread of fire significantly, giving staff and patients more than enough time to escape. If you fit fire curtains to block off the medical supply stores (which often have a lot of flammable chemicals), you could stop the fire before it can spread any further, saving lives and thousands of pounds of fire damage.

Why Automatic Fire Curtains Might be Necessary for Warehouses

Warehouses are different from most other workplaces because they are packed full of valuable products and assets, but they usually don’t have a high concentration of employees. This means that the risk of injury by fire is smaller, but there are usually higher risks of other kinds of injuries, such as falling boxes and shelves, etc. Fire safety in warehouses is usually about protecting thousands of pounds’ worth of stock and company assets. Whereas it makes sense in hospitals to install fire curtains around a likely source of fire, it makes more sense in warehouses for you to install fire curtains around your most valuable assets. If you have a small warehouse, it may even be possible to install automatic fire curtains around all of your stock.

Why Automatic Fire Curtains Might be Necessary for Factories

Many modern factories use machines to do most of the work, and these machines can be potential fire sources. In factories with more machines than staff, the staff you do have will have to be fully trained in fire safety to ensure they can react appropriately in the case of a fire. However, some factories still require a lot of manual labour and are full of workers needed to either work with tools or machinery. For these kinds of workplaces, there are usually a lot of people packed into a small space and it’s important to protect them from potential fire risks.

Whichever kind of factory you work in, fire safety is important, whether you’re protecting the workers or the materials and the machinery. One of K&D’s experts will be more than happy to advise where automatic fire curtains would prove most effective in the event of a fire.

If you have any questions about our automatic fire curtains, or any of our other products, please get in touch.



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