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The Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP) has published its new Black Book: Active Fire Curtains: Compartmentation and Protected Routes, 1st Edition: Guidance on specification, use and application of product. This is the most up-to-date independent guide to the provision of proprietary active fire curtains.

The new Black Book outlines how to select a suitable fire curtain, as well as best practice considerations for all involved in the specification, installation and maintenance of such products. It also provides details of recognised test methods and the classification system from EN 13501-1 and EN 13501-2 for Operable Fabric Curtains tested to European standards. In addition it features listings of products that have been fully tested to the appropriate British or European standards.

The active fire curtain industry is relatively young and until recently there were no dedicated fire test methods to determine the fire performance of active fire curtain products, or harmonised methods of assessing oversized dimensions. This new guide was developed to provide independent guidance on the advantages and limitations of these products and advice to help stakeholders to evaluate the diverse marketing data and claims made by manufacturers.

With active fire curtains increasingly being considered as an alternative to conventional compartmentation elements as designers seek to create more open plan buildings, the Black Book will be of interest to all involved in the manufacture, specification, purchase, commissioning or maintenance of fire curtains. It also offers useful guidance to inspection authorities, risk assessors, facilities managers and business owners, providing a useful introduction to all the requirements related to maintaining active fire curtains.

The document also references the ASFP’s latest Technical Guidance Document, TGD 21: CE Marking of Operable Fabric Curtains, which explains some of the complexity behind CE marking of active curtains and highlights where BS 8524 (Active Fire Curtain) differs from BS EN 16034 (Operable fire curtain).

The documents were launched in a webinar on Wednesday 9 September, which described the essential factors relating to the design and installation of active fire curtains in accordance with UK and EU legislation.

Copies of the Black Book and TGD201 and the webinar presentation can be downloaded free of charge at: www.asfp.org.uk