Fire Damper Inspection
What are dampers
A fire damper is a ‘passive’ fire protection product. They are integrated into the ductwork, heating, air conditioning and ventilation systems to help delay the spread of smoke and fire and thus allowing people sufficient time to safely evacuate the building.
If a fire was to break out in a building with no fire dampers (or non-operational dampers), it will easily pass-through ductwork systems spreading rapidly throughout the premises and potentially impeding escape routes.
How do fire dampers work
A fire damper will stop the spread of fire within your ductwork system. Essentially, fire dampers are doors that shut off the system to prevent fire moving from one area to another. A fire damper can compartmentalise your ductwork to trap fire within a specific area and stop it spreading in your ventilation system.
The most important part of fire dampers are the fusible links. If a fire starts, the temperature in the ductwork will rise. At 72 degrees, the fusible links will melt. The damper is on a drop mechanism, so as soon as the link melts, the fire damper will shut and seal the airflow.
Ensuring dampers are tested and work correctly should be an essential part of buildings maintenance wherever they are installed. The correct installation of fire dampers is also paramount to them working in the event of a fire, using the correct products and fixings to hold them in place and able to withstand the heat of fire.
Fire damper testing is required by law!
Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order it is a legal requirement to test fire dampers at regular intervals in accordance with fire safety in the design, management, and use of buildings code of practice (BS:9999 2017), using a method known as 'drop testing'.
Should you have a fire in your ductwork you must be able to prove you have identified all dampers and had them annually tested and inspected in line with the BS9999 Standard.
If you do not have an adequate test & inspection regime in place, in the event of a fire this could impact on any insurance claim.
Fire & smoke damper testing has set protocols that must be adhered to with any inoperable or faulty dampers being highlighted rectified immediately.
— Site plan identifying all dampers installed at the site
— Site reporting (asset, site, and group level) to BS9999
— Photographic evidence of dampers (closed and open position)
— Condition report of the fire stopping and damper
— Clear asset tag on the damper indicating status
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