Fire curtains, also referred to as safety curtains, are a fire safety device used in theaters and auditoriums. Modern fire curtains are often made of fiberglass or iron, but in the past they were typically made with asbestos due to the minerals unique fire resistant properties of being non-flammable and non-combustible.
Unfortunately, many original fire curtains that contain asbestos can still be found in buildings. Earlier this year there were news reports about theaters in New Hampshire and Connecticut that were replacing asbestos-containing fire curtains with new curtains that did not contain the carcinogenic fibers. Just last year, an auditorium at a university in South Carolina had to be temporarily closed after asbestos was discovered following an annual test of the facility’s fire curtain found asbestos fibers on the stage and not surprisingly in the material used in the fire curtain itself.