A Beginners Guide to Fire Dampers

July 1, 2021

There are many hidden systems within a building that help prevent the spread of fire and keep inhabitants safe, often hidden out of sight and potentially out of mind. Fire dampers are crucial apparatus used in ventilation and air conditioning ducts to section off systems and form compartments to prevent fire spreading. Fire dampers respond to high temperatures which cause them to shut, creating a firebreak within ductwork or ventilation systems when a fire breaks out.

 

The consequences of not properly maintaining fire damper scan be catastrophic and British Standard 9999:2017 clearly states that all fire dampers should be maintained and tested by an expert at least every 12 months. Issues with fire dampers can occur as a result of things as simple as:

 

-      Disintegrated blades

-      Dust-filled components

-      Dirt and debris

-      Disjointed fusible links

-      Rusted springs

-      Broken cassettes

-      Incorrect installation

 

So, it is important to look out for the signs of wear and tear between tests. It is a building manager’s responsibility to ensure compliance, and if they fail to do so, businesses may find themselves facing hefty fines and even criminal prosecution for violating laws and regulations should fatalities occur as the result of a fire.

 

Don’t forget, smoke dampers are just as important to consider as fire dampers as the most significant risk for a building’s inhabitants during a fire is smoke inhalation. These operate by preventing the passage of smoke between sections of a building, containing it to one location, differing to fire dampers as they rely on smoke detectors to function. Fire damper testing should always incorporate smoke damper testing as well.

 

Any fire and smoke damper testing and maintenance should also include fire damper surveys to ensure all dampers are tested and reset according to legislation, and to ensure full compliance, testing reports must be produced to ensure all dampers have been tested to standard.

 

Here at System Hygienics, we are proud to be the first company to put our engineers through an IFSM (The Institute of Fire SafetyManagers) course, which means you can be sure all of our engineers are truly competent when it comes to carrying out fire damper testing.

 

If you want to ensure your building is legally compliant with British Standards and other regulations, we are the first in our industry to introduce a Complete Ventilation Compliance Package. Each package is bespoke to your building, ensuring you meet all responsibilities for keeping your building compliant.

 

To find out more about our Complete Ventilation CompliancePackage, get in touch today.