Hoistway doors stop little if any smoke. In fact, when added up, the gaps between an elevator hoist way door and it’s frame would equal a hole about the same size as a basketball. A hole this large can leak smoke during a fire at an alarming rate of up to 1000 cubic feet per minute or more. This could easily fill the corridor with smoke, quickly hindering egress and slowing down or preventing a safe escape. The building codes require smoke protection at the elevator hoistway in certain types of buildings. For example, hospitals which have people that may not be able to self evacuate during a fire are particularly at risk. The building code recognizes this and mandates smoke protection at elevator hoistway openings. There are several methods that an architect can use to meet the smoke protection requirement at the elevator. They include, lobbies or vestibules with smoke rated doors on magnetic hold open, an additional door on magnetic hold open, shaft pressurization or my favorite, and often the most economical, a product like Smoke Guard.
About John Collins
John has over 30 years experience with sales and marketing in the architectural field. He is the owner and operator of RSM Services Inc. a company that provides sales management services in the Northeast USA region and represents Smoke Guard. If you are a designer from New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Buffalo or Baltimore / Washington DC (and all points in between) and would like to get the straight scoop on building code required smoke or fire rated curtains or shutters for elevators and atriums please feel free to touch base.