Regular maintenance and cleaning of smoke curtains are important to ensure their functionality and longevity. While there are various ways to clean smoke curtains, it is essential to follow manufacturer's specific cleaning instructions and avoid actions that may compromise the warranty.
Cleaning smoke curtains should be incorporated into regular maintenance routines, and it is recommended to seek guidance from a smoke and fire curtain maintenance professional. Since different smoke curtains may contain various fabrics and coatings, it is crucial to be cautious when cleaning them. By ensuring proper maintenance and cleaning, you can enhance the effectiveness of your smoke curtains and maintain compliance with building codes for smoke control.
Textile-Based Smoke and Fire Curtains
Smoke curtains made from woven fibers and coated textiles are commonly used for large spaces such as wall openings, atriums, theaters, schools, and auditoriums. These curtains are typically installed in the ceiling and programmed to deploy vertically when triggered by a fire and smoke system.
To clean textile-based smoke curtains:
Do not use water.
It is critical to keep textile-based smoke curtains from getting wet since exposure to water can harm the curtain's coating and weaken its ability to resist smoke and fire. Additionally, water exposure can increase the risk of mold and mildew growth on the curtains since it's challenging to dry them entirely.
Gently wipe down the curtain using a soft cloth or a very soft bristle brush.
To clean the surface of the smoke curtain, you can use a soft cloth or a very gentle bristle brush. If you are uncertain about the type of cloth or brush to use, refer to the manufacturer's guidelines.
Use pressurized air.
Using high pressure when using pressurized air can potentially damage the coating of the smoke curtain or remove it completely. It is recommended to use low pressure when using pressurized air to clean smoke curtains.
Polymer Film Smoke and Fire Curtains
Polymer film smoke curtains are typically found in elevator openings and are also programmed to deploy vertically when triggered by a fire and smoke system. These curtains are used in combination with an elevator’s fire-rated doors.
To clean polymer film curtains:
To clean polymer film curtains:
Do not use water, but you can gently wipe the curtain using a mildly damp cloth.
Similar to textile-based curtains, polymer film curtains should not be cleaned with water. However, depending on the manufacturer's instructions, a slightly damp cloth may be used. It is important to ensure the cloth is not too wet, leaving behind water or wet streaks.
Only use mild soap as a cleaning agent.
Some manufacturers will also allow the use of a mild soap with a slightly damp cloth. This should be practiced only if it is a manufacturer-approved cleaning method.
Stay away from harsh chemicals and soaps.
Avoid using abrasive cleaners or cleaners that contain strong chemicals or soaps as they can damage the coating of the film.
Other Ways to Keep Smoke and Fire Curtains Clean and Operating Smoothly
To comply with local fire and building codes, smoke curtains should be professionally inspected and serviced up to twice a year, depending on the location. However, it's also important to conduct regular maintenance checks in between professional servicing appointments. This will ensure that your smoke curtains are always in compliance with codes, standards, and insurance requirements.
You can create a regular maintenance routine to keep your smoke curtains clean, functional, and up to code. Assign a team member to check the curtains regularly and keep a log of all system checks, including when the curtains were last cleaned. Ensure that at least one member of your building's maintenance team is trained by the manufacturer of your smoke management system.
Operate the curtains monthly or weekly if they are part of an escape route. Every three months, operate your entire smoke and fire control system. Check for obstructions that could obstruct the deployment area of smoke and fire curtains and remove them. Finally, note any changes in the building's layout during each check and how they could affect the performance of your smoke curtains.