Fire dampers are crucial for building safety as they prevent or slow down the spread of fire through ductwork or HVAC systems.
Fire dampers are vital to improve building safety because they help stop or slow the spread of fire through ventilation ductwork or HVAC systems. Thus, helping to reduce the damage a fire outbreak can cause to a building and the people within the building. Further, building managers and occupants must conduct fire damper testing and inspection regularly because of the essential role of fire dampers in fire safety.
This article presents a guide to fire damper classifications and legal requirements in the UK to help you make the right decisions regarding selecting fire dampers for ventilation and HVAC systems.
How often should fire dampers be tested? As much as selecting the suitable fire damper based on fire damper classifications is necessary, it is also vital to know and comply with its legal requirements. Ignorance or misinterpretation is no longer an excuse because these requirements are now more apparent than ever.
Find below the legal requirements of fire dampers according to British Standard 9999:2017 (Effective Fire Safety in the Design, Management, and Use of Buildings) that covers the visual inspection and maintenance of ventilation and HVAC ductworks.
• A competent person must test all fire dampers after installation and at least once a year after installation.
• Fire dampers in hospitals and high-risk facilities, especially spring-operated dampers, must be tested more frequently because of high levels of dust or pollution.
• Fire dampers must be repaired or replaced immediately after they develop faults, and a maintenance plan must be created to ensure that the dampers are in complete working condition.
Knowing what the fire damper legislation entails, how do building owners and managers comply with the legislation? The BESA Testing Guidance (VH001) comes in handy as it assists in staying compliant with the fire damper legal requirements. Furthermore, the document:
- Offers comprehensive guidance to meet the requirements of BS9999 and technical documents HTM03-01 and HTM05-02, which cover the fire damper legal requirements within healthcare premises
- Outlines every individual aspect of a compliant test regime in line with industry best practices and standards
- Builds on DW/145 Code of Practice for installation and commissioning, DW/144 relating to sheet metal ductwork and TR/19, which outlines the standards for ventilation hygiene
- Clarifies that fully compliant with testing fire dampers should include elements such as comprehensive photographic evidence showing the condition of the damper before, during and after the process
- Recommends that fire dampers be safeguarded with fusible links that open once their surround melts, release the fire damper blades, and shut off access to ventilation or HVAC ducts.
Do you know the cost of not being compliant? It can render your insurance void because it has a limit to what it can cover. It may be unable to cover a fire outbreak resulting from failing to exercise due diligence and complying with fire dampers’ guidance and legislation.
System Hygienics can provide peace of mind by helping you locate, inspect, service, clean, disinfect, and test your fire dampers correctly and legally. Why don’t you contact us now for more detail on our full range of professional services for fire dampers?