Elevator Smoke Curtain

An elevator smoke curtain is a protective barrier that traps smoke from entering an elevator shaft. Elevator smoke curtain installation can be used to eliminate the IBC elevator lobby requirement.


Elevator Smoke Protection

During a fire and smoke incident, an elevator shaft will act as a chimney, quickly spreading smoke to other floors. The largest safety threat during a fire is smoke inhalation. Up to 80% of all fire-related deaths are caused by inhaling smoke, poisonous gases and other deadly toxins as well as damage to respiratory systems.  It is no wonder why stopping the spread of smoke is a major concern in large buildings with multiple stories as well as for hotel fire safety.


Elevator smoke doors became required to stop smoke migration

Since elevators were the fastest conduit for heated smoke and air to spread throughout a building.  After several high profile tragedies, the major building and fire regulatory organizations decided something was needed to stop the major tragedies and protect loss of life. The organizations created these specific guidelines to protect life during a smoke and fire occurrence. By working in conjunction, all safety aspects can be met. The various organizations work together to help architects, engineers, builders, contractors and governments establish guidelines, codes, requirements and various safety protocols to prevent loss of life during a fire or smoke event. The answer was elevator lobbies.

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and International Code Council (ICC) all adopted regulations and codes to prevent smoke migration. The ICC developed the International Building Code (IBC), the most widely adopted building codes and standards available. The NFPA elevator code, ASME elevator code, UL 325 as well as IBC’s elevator lobby and smoke barrier requirements state various codes and standards for elevator smoke doors, fire elevators, smoke protection and more. 

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Elevator Smoke Curtain Installed

Elevator smoke doors

All of the organizations agree on creating a fire protection area and smoke protection seal around the elevator, also known as an elevator lobby. An elevator lobby is an enclosed room constructed of fire-rated materials and includes fire-rated elevator smoke doors that can be closed to prevent smoke and fire from spreading to the elevator. A great safety feature indeed, however, fire rated doors can be large and cumbersome. 


Alternative to Elevator Lobbies - Elevator Smoke Curtains

On the main level, an elevator lobby can be a beautiful feature with an area to decorate and display a positive image of the building and its occupants. However architects, engineers and designers often struggle with the space an elevator lobby occupies in buildings on the other stories. There is a significant cost associated with elevator lobby construction as well as the valuable space it occupies on every floor.  

There are several alternatives to requiring an enclosed elevator lobby but allows for alternative means and methods of construction that are equal to or superior to the requirements in the code. An elevator smoke curtain is a great example of such an approved alternative. Our SmokeShield Elevator smoke curtain is design forward, compact and positively re-seals an elevator shaft after each cycle. Utilizing our nearly 100 years of life safety and fire protection experience, we developed the SmokeShield with patented GuideLock™ technology positively re-seals the hoistway a­fter cycling, while the transparency and graphic designs of the curtain itself is both instructional and intuitive for the user in an emergency situation. This is important, because if re-seal does not occur, smoke will migrate and create preventable damage.

Smoke Protection with Design Freedom

When it comes to providing a smoke barrier in buildings, SmokeShield Elevator is the most design-adaptable hoistway smoke enclosure in the industry. Our elevator smoke curtain’s design versatility is evident in allowing guides to be easily concealed in wood, masonry, sheetrock or other fascia materials, offering the broadest range of mounting possibilities. Any exposed guides or bottom bars can be finished to match, complement, or contrast their surroundings with custom powder coating, faux finishes, or a unique stainless matching guide anodization option.

SmokeShield Elevator’s headroom, backroom and sideroom requirements are some of the smallest on the market. Additionally, the control box and battery backup are invisibly located within the headbox.


Elevator Smoke Curtain

When you are looking for a functional, design forward alternative to elevator smoke protection, SmokeShield Elevator is sure to provide you with the most design options and safety features. 

Cookson has many models to meet the needs of just about any situation or need. However, we can also specially design any fire door, roll up door or security grille to meet any specific need. No size, requirement or application is too much of a challenge.