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Fire Damper Inspection & Servicing

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What Are Fire Dampers and How Do They Work?

Fire dampers are passive fire protection products used in heating, ventilation and air conditioning ducts. They prevent the spread of fire inside the ductwork through fire-resistance rated walls and floors. They are designed to shut when a specified temperature or fire condition is met, preventing the spread of fire and smoke. In the event of a rise in temperature, the fire damper closes, usually activated by a thermal element. This melts at temperatures higher than ambient but low enough to indicate the presence of a fire, allowing springs to close the damper blades.

Fire Damper Inspection & Servicing

Why Test And Inspect Fire Dampers?

Regularly testing and maintaining your fire dampers can save lives!

Fire dampers play a crucial role in a building’s fire safety system. If they don’t operate as designed, fire can spread rapidly, with lethal results. If there is a fire in the building, the difference between a well-maintained, working fire damper and a poorly maintained, partially working fire damper can be the difference between life and death.

As the fire dampers are opened most, if not all of the time, it is vital to ensure that they will still close effectively when required. Regular fire damper testing as well as fire damper cleaning and maintenance is both a legal requirement and a critical part of building fire safety management. The use of the ventilation system gathers an accumulation of contamination on the fire damper and its operational parts. This must be removed and the fire damper tested regularly to ensure that it operates as designed, should a fire occur.

Fire Damper Inspection & Servicing

How Often Should Dampers Be Tested?

All fire dampers must be tested upon installation.  

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 places a duty of care on the building owner/occupier to take general fire precautions that will ensure, as far as reasonably practical, the safety of the building and safety of the people within it. Section 17 of this Order deals with maintenance of systems to control the fire risk and requires that they are subject to a suitable system of maintenance and are maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair.

According to British Standards 9999:2017 all fire dampers should be tested by a competent person on completion of the installation and at regular intervals not exceeding 2 years. Spring-operated fire dampers should be tested annually and fire dampers situated in dust-laden and similar atmospheres should be tested much more frequently, at periods suited to the degree of pollution. The fire dampers must be repaired or replaced immediately if found to be faulty.

Hospital engineers should be aware of the Heating and Ventilation Systems Health Technical Memorandum 03-01: Specialised Ventilation for Healthcare Premises Part B: Operational Management and Performance Verification that has the following guidance:

  • All fire dampers should be tested as part of the annual verification.
  • Regular tests, at intervals agreed with the local fire prevention officer, will need to be carried out in order to demonstrate the continuing efficiency of the fire detection and containment systems. These may be in addition to the inspections detailed above. Records of these tests should be kept. 
Fire Damper Inspection & Servicing

What Happens During A Fire Damper Inspection?

All fire and smoke dampers within your building(s) should be located, serviced and tested. Then a schedule created for regular checks to ensure their continued safe operation. 

Our specialists will help you achieve peace of mind by:

  • Creating an inventory of fire dampers in your building by identifying and locating all fire dampers
  • Checking/confirming access is available for testing – if not, detailing what access is required
  • Carrying out fire damper testing, cleaning and drop testing and reset each fire damper
  • Providing a comprehensive report including location records
  • Identifying any problems and recommending remedial action

Please note - ticking a box to say that a fire damper exists is not compliance that will stand up in case of a problem. It must be physically tested, cleaned and re-set.

Fire Damper Inspection & Servicing

To find out how Comfort can help you manage your fire damper inspections, request your free, no obligation quote now.

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