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Is your fire safety curtain closed?

Fire safety curtains involve more than just fire safety. An increasing number of codes require that fire safety curtains be closed when the building is not occupied. There are several very good reasons for this, and most of them have nothing to do with fire:

  • A closed fire safety curtain can prevent anyone from falling off the edge of the stage due to tripping or inattention.
  • A closed fire safety curtain and locked doors can keep curious hands from tampering with the stage equipment. This simple exercise can prevent equipment and building damage, as well as potential injury.
  • Closed fire safety curtains facilitate the use of the auditorium for classroom functions while the stage is used for other activities.
  • If there is a fire, a fire safety curtain that is already closed will protect the building from damage earlier and for a longer period than waiting for the fire to become intense enough to trip the curtain release.
  • Fire safety curtains that are used daily are much more likely to function correctly than curtains that have not moved in years.

NFPA 80 Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives, 2010 Edition requires that "the fire safety curtain assembly shall be closed at all times except when there is an event, rehearsal, or similar activity" It also requires annual inspection and re-training.

American National Standard E1.22 - 2009 Entertainment Technology Fire Safety Curtain Systems requires that "all fire safety curtains shall be in the closed position except during events with an audience, rehearsals, technical production activity, or activities on stage that necessitate the curtain be open."

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