How do I know if my fire dampers have been serviced correctly and legally?

March 15, 2022

How do I know if my fire dampers have been serviced correctly and legally?

A significant proportion of building owners and managers already know that fire dampers, in order to do their job in the event of a fire, need to be inspected and tested on a regular basis. Sadly, however, many others still fail to understand the essential role which dampers play in site fire safety, concentrating, instead, on fire alarms, smoke detectors and evacuation drills.

The omission of fire damper servicing from fire prevention plans is not only dangerous, but it can also leave designated responsible persons on the wrong side of the law. Ignorance or misinterpretation of the requirements is no longer a valid excuse, as those in charge of site safety now have a wealth of information at their fingertips (not to mention the support of experts such as the team System Hygienics) to guide them on what exactly needs to be done.

The legal requirements are now clearer than ever

  • British Standard 9999:2017 (Effective Fire Safety in the Design, Management and Use of Buildings) makes it obligatory for all fire dampers be tested after installation by a competent person and then, at least, annually thereafter
  • Fire dampers in hospitals and high-risk facilities (particularly spring operated dampers) should be tested more frequently

How to comply with the legislation is now also less ambiguous too

BESA Testing Guidance (VH001) was produced in response to an overwhelming call from building owners and managers to assist them in how to stay fully compliant with the legislation.

The document has been widely welcomed as it: -

  • Offers comprehensive guidance to meet the requirements of BS9999, as well as technical documents HTM 03-01 and HTM 05-02 which cover the requirements within healthcare premises
  • Outlines every individual aspect of a compliant test regime, in line with industry best practice 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
  • Makes it clear that fully compliant testing should include elements such as comprehensive photographic evidence showing the condition of the damper before, during and after the process

System Hygienics always provide peace of mind

At System Hygienics we have always understood the huge importance of effective fire damper maintenance. Our over-arching aim is to protect the safety of building occupants but ensuring that our clients operate in accordance with the law is a significant part of the service we offer too. 

Our vast industry experience and targeted expertise means that we can: -

  • Locate all fire dampers (even those which are inaccessible due to poor building design)
  • Assess the installation (it’s not unknown to find fire dampers installed upside down!)
  • Carry out a full inspection of condition
  • Service the units in full compliance with the guidance and legislation
  • Clean and disinfect (where necessary) to BESA TR19® standards
  • Provide full photographic evidence and reports for inclusion in system log books

In short, if you are a building owner or manager who would like the assurance which comes with knowing that your fire dampers have been serviced correctly and legally, Systems Hygienics can help. We are trusted by our clients – be they hospitals, universities, schools, hotels industrial facilities or offices – to provide our total solution for safety and compliance.

Visit www.systemhygienics.co.uk for more detail on our full range of professional services.