Fire Curtain Regulations UK: Your One-Stop Guide

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In fire safety, fire curtains are vital yet often overlooked. They’re robust, fire-resistant barriers, ready to unfold at the sound of a fire or smoke alarm. Typically, these are suspended from ceilings, doorways, or lobbies and help limit the spread of fire and smoke within a building.

But why is understanding fire curtain regulations in the UK so crucial?

  • It keeps you compliant with fire safety laws
  • It helps control the spread of fire and smoke
  • It safeguards lives and your property

This post will peel back the layers of fire curtain regulations. We’ll explore who should adhere to these rules, unpack related fire safety laws, and delve into specific regulations for fire curtains.

If you’d like to read more on what a fire curtain actually is, read our guide here. 

Who Needs to Follow Fire Regulations in the UK? 


Whoever is considered the ‘responsible person(s)’ should adhere strictly to fire regulations (including fire curtain regulations). This may include: 

  • Employers
  • Property owners
  • Landlords
  • Occupiers
  • Others in control of the premises, such as facilities managers, building managers, managing agents, or risk assessors

These individuals must ensure the right products are used, installed, and maintained. This essential practice identifies measures to prevent fire and ensure the safety of everyone within the premises. 

Horizontal Fire Curtain

Overview of UK Fire Safety Laws and Regulations


Now you have a clear understanding of who carries the mantle of responsibility for fire safety, let’s delve into the actual regulations that regard fire curtains:


1.   The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

One key legal touchstone in the world of fire curtain regulations in the UK is the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

This legislation outlines the measures necessary to ensure safety from fire. It emphasises the ‘responsible persons’ role in assessing and reducing fire risks.

The Order also underlines the importance of appropriate fire protection measures, such as fire curtains, which protect against fire and smoke spread.


2.   Fire Safety England Regulations 2022

The Fire Safety England Regulations 2022 further builds on the principles of the 2005 Order. It’s designed to ensure safety standards are met and regularly updated.

These regulations highlight the need for features like fire curtains, essential in limiting fire spread and allowing for a safe evacuation.


3.   Building Safety Act 2022

Next, we have the Building Safety Act 2022. It sets a new precedent in building safety, introducing the principle of safety for residents from the design phase through to building occupation.

Within this Act, the deployment of fire curtains is recognised as an effective safety measure, contributing to the containment of fire and smoke.


4.   The Building Regulations 2010, specifically Part B (Fire Safety)

The Building Regulations 2010, specifically focusing on Part B (Fire Safety), guides the design and construction of buildings for safe occupancy. Fire curtains are part of the detailed requirements outlined to manage fire risks, effectively limiting fire spread within a building.


5.   Health and Safety Act 1974 Regulation 18 (Maintenance)

Finally, the Health and Safety Act 1974 Regulation 18 (maintenance) underscores the responsibility of maintenance in ensuring fire safety.

This includes regular checks and upkeep of fire curtains to guarantee they operate when needed. Hence, well-maintained fire curtains can be decisive in keeping a building compliant with UK fire safety laws.

Regulations for Different Types of Buildings


Understanding the Fire curtain regulations in the UK is vital, but it’s worth noting that these regulations can vary significantly depending on the type of building in question. Each category, from residential to commercial and industrial buildings, has its specific regulations to ensure maximum safety:


Residential Buildings

In January 2023, new fire safety regulations took effect in England, particularly impacting residential buildings. These impending changes signal a concerted effort to further enhance fire safety measures in domestic environments. 

The main regulatory shift is for building owners. They are required to pay detailed attention to the fire safety of external walls and flat entrance doors, a mandate stipulated by the Building Safety Act 2022.

The Building Safety Act 2022 is an essential legislation outlining the expected fire safety standards within residential premises. This legal document specifically mentions measures for preventing the spread of fires, directly linking it to deploying fire curtains in suitable locations. 


Commercial Buildings

For commercial buildings, the regulations set a different tone. These structures must comply with minimum standards designed to ensure the health and safety of people inside and around them. Beyond the general focus on safety, these regulations also incorporate energy efficiency and sustainability provisions.

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 is a particularly significant regulation in this context. This law applies universally to all non-domestic premises, with a few exceptions. As an overview, the legislation underscores the importance of appropriate fire safety measures, including fire curtains, to contain and prevent the spread of fire.

In January 2023, the Fire Safety England Regulations 2022 introduced new regulations surrounding duties for building owners and managers. This impending change emphasises the ongoing efforts to bolster fire safety standards within commercial premises across the UK.


Industrial Buildings

The narrative around fire safety and building regulations is just as stringent for industrial buildings. In England and Wales, building regulations, which encompass the Fire curtain building regulations, apply to the majority of new constructions as well as many alterations of existing buildings, regardless of their purpose.

The Building Regulations 2010 is a critical legislative document offering explicit guidelines regarding building construction and extension. This regulatory framework is designed to help businesses maintain the highest fire safety standards within industrial environments.

Whether it’s a new build or a modification of an existing structure, adherence to these regulations is paramount. This includes correctly installing and maintaining fire curtains, which play a critical role in controlling the spread of fire and smoke. 

Fire Curtain Standards in the UK


A firm understanding of the fire curtain regulations in the UK is imperative. However, to fulfil these, you must choose the right products, installation and maintenance. At the moment, these consist of the following standards:

  • BS 8524-1:2013: This standard outlines the requirements for designing, testing, and classifying active fire curtain barrier assemblies. Key areas covered include fire resistance, integrity, and insulation.
  • BS 8524-2:2013: This standard closely examines the installation and maintenance of active fire curtain barrier assemblies. It provides a comprehensive guide on how to fix the curtain, manage the deployment mechanism, and control the system.
  • BS EN 16034:2014: The final essential standard covers the performance characteristics of fire-resistant and/or smoke control door and shutter assemblies, including fire curtains. It stipulates the requirements for testing and classifying these products and provides a framework for CE marking.


What Documents and Certifications Do You Need?


Documents and certifications confirm that you’re following the outline fire regulations. The type of document and certifications you require may differ depending on your property, the materials you handle, etc. However, as standard, you’ll want to follow the below:


Certification of Conformity


A Certification of Conformity is a key document for fire curtains in the UK. This certificate shows that fire curtains have been constructed to meet certain standards, such as BS 8524-1 and BS EN 16034.

This certification guarantees that the fire curtains meet required performance standards, specifically around fire resistance, integrity, and insulation. It offers the reassurance that these crucial pieces of safety equipment have undergone testing and evaluation by accredited bodies.


Importance of Proper Documentation


The documentation goes beyond just a certificate of conformity. It’s paramount for demonstrating compliance with fire safety regulations and standards.

It should include certificates of conformity, test reports, installation records, and maintenance records. These documents prove that the fire curtains have been tested, installed correctly, and maintained according to the manufacturer’s guidelines and regulatory requirements.

Proper documentation also comes to the fore during inspections, audits, and investigations, providing a clear record of compliance and due diligence.


Regular Fire Risk Assessments


Regular fire risk assessments are essential to keep up with fire curtain building regulations. They evaluate potential fire hazards, assess the effectiveness of fire safety measures, and identify any necessary improvements or corrective actions.

Competent individuals or fire safety professionals should conduct these assessments with the necessary knowledge and expertise. The assessment is not a one-time event but should be carried out periodically or whenever significant changes to the building or its use occur.

Documenting the findings of the fire risk assessments and implementing any recommended actions is crucial. This ensures the effectiveness of fire curtains and overall fire safety measures remain optimal.


Consequences of Non-Compliance with Fire Safety Regulations


Even with a firm commitment to safety, companies might occasionally miss some elements of fire curtain regulations UK. Unfortunately, the ramifications of such oversights can be severe and extensive.

  • Penalties: If companies fall short of fire safety regulations, they can be hit with hefty fines. The magnitude of these fines hinges on the severity of the infraction and any previous incidents of non-compliance. For instance, in the UK, minor breaches can result in a £5000 fine, but graver violations can incur limitless fines.
  • Legal Complications: Failure to comply with fire curtain building regulations may also provoke legal disputes. Globally, companies breaching fire safety regulations, like those in the UK, may face fines and potential prosecution.
  • Loss of Reputation: The repercussions of not adhering to fire safety standards could extend to reputational harm, arguably the most consequential cost. A perceived disregard for health and safety can erode trust among customers, partners, and the public, potentially leading to dwindling sales.
  • Elevated Fire Danger: Non-compliance with fire safety measures can exacerbate the risk of a fire incident. Inadequate fire safety precautions can cause a fire to spread faster, posing a serious threat to individuals and property.


Fire Safety Matters


In conclusion, adhering to fire curtain regulations in the UK, as well as building regulations, is crucial to maintain safety. This compliance involves meeting essential standards such as BS 8524-1, BS 8524-2, BS EN 16034, and many other government norms.

When purchasing a fire curtain, request a certificate of conformity. This important document ensures the product meets the necessary BS standards and government regulations, a critical step in securing your safety.

Need help navigating these waters? UK Roller Shutters is your partner in navigating these complex regulations. We provide high-quality fire curtains and trusted guidance, helping your business stay secure and compliant. Because when it comes to fire safety, no shortcuts should be taken.

If you’re unsure whether you need a fire curtain or fire shutter, read our guide here.