Smoke Guard: A New, Effective Fire Safety Product for new and renovated multi-story buildings.

Vertical Smoke Migration

In all buildings, vertical penetrations act like chimneys. The taller the building and the greater the differential between inside and outside temperatures, the greater the "stack effect" draft in the hoistway shaft. Because the elevator shaft connects directly to all major exitways, smoke drawn into the hoistway can quickly contaminate the means of egress far from the source of the smoke and endanger human life.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, smoke is the leading cause of death and damage in a fire.

75% of the people who die in building fires are victims of smoke inhalation. Most deaths, injuries and damage attributed to smoke occur above the fire floor. Every year in the United States, there are over 86,000 fires in mid-rise buildings and 16,000 fires in high rise buildings, resulting in over 6,000 deaths and injuries, and causing approximately $3 billion dollars in property damage.

The Elevator Lobby

Even though the elevator hoistway door and frame is a fire rated assembly, the 3/8" gap between the door and frame encourages the migration of smoke during a building fire. Recognizing the potential danger, the Model Building Codes have required the use of an enclosed lobby to separate the elevator hoistway from the rated exitway since 1979.

From a code standpoint, this lobby can only be used as a means of egress in a fully sprinklered office building. Therefore, because the enclosed lobby will conceivably be filled with smoke, an additional corridor must be provided in ALL other occupancy and building types.

In 1993, the Smoke Guard System was officially recognized as a "tight-fitting smoke-and draft-control assembly" when used with a rated hoistway door and frame. This unique combination allows the elevator lobby to be used as a reliable means of egress in all occupancy types.

Use the Smoke Guard System in renovations where space is tight and in new construction where cost, usable area and aesthetics are important design



Fully loaded hidden assembly.


System triggered by smoke alarm for instant response


Magnetically sealed covering elevator door for maximum smoke detections

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Mahealani Carlbom is our smoke guard specialist.

Contact me with any questions you may have. We will be happy to discuss any design or building issue with you.