Thread: Fire Curtains

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    Default Fire Curtains

    I am looking to see if anyone has information on testing standards for fire curtains on a stage? I have been looking through NFPA, but I have not had any luck in finding any information on this.

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    I think that would be tested under UL.

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    Default Fire Curtins

    Try looking in

    NFPA 101.10.3.1* "Where required by the applicable provisions of this Code, draperies, curtains, and other similar loosely hanging furnishings and decorations shall meet the flame propagation performance criteria contained in NFPA 701, Standard Methods of Fire Tests for Flame Propagation of Textiles and Films."

    It will take you to NFPA 701. Hope this what you are looking for.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stevefinn View Post
    I am looking to see if anyone has information on testing standards for fire curtains on a stage? I have been looking through NFPA, but I have not had any luck in finding any information on this.
    You ain't getting along with theaters lately, are you?

    I did an arson fire in a school in Paterson a few years ago. The historical aspect of this topic was the need for life safety in theaters years ago prior to the construction of modern life safety devices and protection systems. If there was a fire on the stage, the curtain would be dropped and would be expected to hold the fire back for a short period of time in order to allow the patrons to evacuate. I believe this time period to be in the 20 minute range.

    The problem in my case was that the main fuel package was a sofa up against the rear fly curtains. If the curtains have direct flame inpingement for a sustained period of time, the curtains will, in fact, become part of the fuel package. There is no requirement that I was able to find that the curtains be non-combustible, only fire resistant.

    Unless there is a new ed. of 701, I don't think it says differently. At least as far as NJ is concerned.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    What little bit I read in 701, you are correct. Everything was fire resistant or fire retardent.

    When I went to school for Fire Inspector I/II, the instructor talked about burning a small amount of the curtins for testing. Is that what 701 is talking about?

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    Actually in my country is required that the curtain can be doubled by a so called fire-cutter curtain that can sustain fire condition for more than 30 minutes.
    Never seen deployed, all the big fires in italian historical opera house ( theaters) started during closing period and were not accidental...

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    Hey George, What I was looking for was the timing for the fire curtain to activate and roll down to seperate the stage from the seating area. I found what I need in BOCA 1993, this is the addition the school was built under. Hope you had a good trip and all is well. Talk soon, Steve
    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    You ain't getting along with theaters lately, are you?

    I did an arson fire in a school in Paterson a few years ago. The historical aspect of this topic was the need for life safety in theaters years ago prior to the construction of modern life safety devices and protection systems. If there was a fire on the stage, the curtain would be dropped and would be expected to hold the fire back for a short period of time in order to allow the patrons to evacuate. I believe this time period to be in the 20 minute range.

    The problem in my case was that the main fuel package was a sofa up against the rear fly curtains. If the curtains have direct flame inpingement for a sustained period of time, the curtains will, in fact, become part of the fuel package. There is no requirement that I was able to find that the curtains be non-combustible, only fire resistant.

    Unless there is a new ed. of 701, I don't think it says differently. At least as far as NJ is concerned.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stevefinn View Post
    Hey George, What I was looking for was the timing for the fire curtain to activate and roll down to seperate the stage from the seating area. I found what I need in BOCA 1993, this is the addition the school was built under. Hope you had a good trip and all is well. Talk soon, Steve

    Cool. I thought you were looking at the fire resistance of the material.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    What little bit I read in 701, you are correct. Everything was fire resistant or fire retardent
    -------------------------------------
    640-816 640-822

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    Quote Originally Posted by stevefinn View Post
    Hey George, What I was looking for was the timing for the fire curtain to activate and roll down to seperate the stage from the seating area. I found what I need in BOCA 1993, this is the addition the school was built under. Hope you had a good trip and all is well. Talk soon, Steve
    Did (does) BOCA 1993 also address HOW the curtain needs to fall? I know NFPA specifies the time (forget exactly) - BUT also specifies that the last so many feet (10?) must travel at a certain speed (to avoid crushing anyone who hasn't gotten out of the way yet).....

    Also- the stage you are looking at is over 50 feet tall? Or has that changed over the years?.........

    Ever seen (heard) the big BANG when the hydraulics fail as a curtain is coming down? WOW!.......even a small back stage one makes a big bang!

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    Quote Originally Posted by CrazyFrank View Post
    What little bit I read in 701, you are correct. Everything was fire resistant or fire retardent.

    When I went to school for Fire Inspector I/II, the instructor talked about burning a small amount of the curtins for testing. Is that what 701 is talking about?
    Yes - and I've done that a few times when paperwork has been questionable. It is pretty easy to do as an 'informal' test - small swath of fabric (most backdrops have a seam that can be cut), pair of pliers and a lighter.

    I've had to deny use of a backdrop too- had one that the swath sustained the flame after the lighter was taken away - oh well.

    Had another instance where the Company tried to say their paperwork was OK, and that the fabrics had been tested in Boston and they OK'd it....lol.....little did they know that I'd check on it and guess what? Never heard of them!!!!!

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