Regulatory Compliance: How Draft Curtains Meet Airport Safety Standards

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Fire safety can be a huge challenge for the airport as it experiences high passenger influx and has multiple terminals, logistical areas, boarding gates, and retail stores. It is therefore essential for all airports to adhere to stringent local and international fire safety standards. Draft curtains are most commonly used in airports to meet safety standards. They are an effective way to manage fire and smoke migration in case of an emergency. Draft curtains are made of different materials, including glass smoke baffles, flame-retardant fiberglass, or sheet metal panels. Among them, fabric draft curtains are considered the best as they are very adaptable and lightweight. They are passive fire safety equipment that function independently and can be used in various applications. But it is important to choose them wisely else they may not serve their intended purpose. While there are many suppliers and producers in the market, only a few of them provide test data when it comes to the quality of their curtains. The draft curtain should be tear-resistant and should have anti-static properties. 

What are Draft Curtains?

Draft curtains provide code-compliant smoke protection. They are a great choice for large industrial buildings like aircraft hangars and warehouses. Since they are made from a fire and smoke-resistant fiberglass material they reduce the amount of damage caused to the building’s interior due to fire hazards. During the event of a fire, smoke rises quickly and fills the space above it. In such a case it becomes essential to channel the smoke out of the structure so that it doesn’t cause excessive damage or make the fire spread. Draft curtains redirect this smoke funnel away from the fire. They prevent the smoke from spreading quickly and push it out of the building completely through mechanical vents or exhaust fans. 

It may be fixed temporarily or permanently, or it may be deployed once smoke or flame is detected. Most commonly it is mounted in wall openings where baggage conveyors pass to non-public areas from public areas. It protrudes or hangs from the ceiling helping in blocking and channeling smoke migration. A draft curtain can be used along with other types of flame or smoke mitigation systems or even alone. This will entirely depend on the size and the exact requirements of the building or the facility. Because they are non-invasive they can be easily installed. 

Reasons to Use Draft Curtains in Airports

Let’s take a look at the reasons why draft curtains are used in airports. 

Containment of Fire and Smoke Spread

Draft curtains compartmentalize and channel smoke. They create smoke compartments and prevent smoke from spreading to other areas of the airport. This is in line with fire safety regulations that make it absolutely necessary to implement essential measures to limit the fire impact within airport facilities. It contains a huge number of fire-resistant strips in a vertically hanging manner. In the case of a sudden emergency like a fire, these strips come together to create a vertical barrier, preventing flames and smoke from moving laterally.

Isolation of Fire Zones

Draft curtain isolates minimize the effect of fire by creating distinct sections or compartments within the airport facility. This way the evacuation routes remain unaffected by the fire helping in secure and swift evacuation of passengers and staff members within the airport. Certain areas like control rooms, critical infrastructure, or sensitive equipment are high-priority zones. Draft curtains contain the fire within isolated zones, safeguarding these vital areas and minimizing the damage risk to important elements of airport operations. Draft curtains can be deployed both horizontally and vertically, making them useful for barricading smoke in a hangar.

Evacuation Support

Since draft curtains contain fire and smoke in distinct zones they help in the timely evacuation of passengers from the airport in the event of a fire hazard. They help in the creation of safe evacuation routes and allow passengers to exit the premises safely. Draft curtains minimize chaos and panic in the event of a fire ensuring an orderly evacuation process.  

Conclusion

The level of damage caused by fires in airports has risen tremendously in the past few years. Draft curtains address the containment and fire protection requirements that airports need to follow. They offer safety from harmful elements and offer top-notch safety to travelers and their luggage. Airport draft curtains act as a barrier in typical conveyor operations offering a pleasing aesthetic finish to wall openings in the airport. They isolate fire zones, control smoke, and are made using fire-resistant materials. They can also be integrated with other fire safety systems ensuring airports adhere to important regulations prioritizing passenger and luggage safety. 

 

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