Fire and Smoke Damper Testing & Inspection
Fire Dampers, Smoke Dampers. Inspection and Testing
Fire and smoke dampers are found in your ductwork ventilation system, within the building fabric where the ductwork breaches the fire compartment.
There are several types of fire and smoke dampers, but the principle of how they work is the same. In the event of a fire, a fire damper closes to maintain the fire barrier, bridging the gap in the fire compartment, whereas smoke dampers open or close to control the routing of smoke.
Fire and smoke dampers are essential in preventing the spread of fire and smoke, and the legislation sets out definitive rules and guidance for their inspection, testing and maintenance.
What Are The Legal Obligations
The legal requirements for fire and smoke damper inspection and testing are clear. The
Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 clearly sets out that it is the employer’s responsibility to maintain their fire safety systems. Your dampers are a key part of your fire safety system.
BS 9999:2017 states: “All fire dampers are to be inspected and performance tested annually by competent persons and any defects are to be logged, necessary action taken, and certificates of testing are to be obtained.”
What Is The Fire Compartment?
Within your structure, multiple fire compartments have been strategically established to thwart the spread of both fire and smoke. Each of these compartments has been meticulously designed to confine fire and smoke for a specified duration, commonly known as its ‘Fire rating’.
Typically, these compartments encompass entire building floors, yet in more expansive structures and buildings providing accommodation such as Care homes and Hotels, a compartment can even encompass a single room.
What is involved in damper inspection and testing?
The initial step involves the identification of all dampers within your building. This can be accomplished by referring to your schematic drawings or, if necessary conducting a survey or inspection.
Given that dampers are positioned at various points within your ductwork, ensuring their accessibility is not only essential but also a legal obligation. In some cases, the dampers may be inaccessible, and it may be necessary to install builders’ hatches into ceilings/walls and access panels into the ductwork. Our teams are available to provide the necessary access as part of our comprehensive service.
In order to meet compliance requirements, it is absolutely crucial to both locate and test all fire and smoke dampers.
A visual inspection of your Fire and smoke dampers will identify surface damage or anomalies in the installation.
Once identified, our team will test each damper by carrying out a ‘Drop test’. A drop test checks that the damper will operate should a fire break out. The mechanism which releases the damper, usually a fusible link or thermal spring, is manually activated to check that the damper closes completely. We then reset the damper to ensure it is ready for operation.
A visual inspection and complete testing are your reassurance that your system is fully operable, and it is the only way to achieve compliance.
Fre Damper Inspection and Testing Reporting
Our fire damper inspection and testing reporting platform was built to comply with the standards set out in BESA Technical Bulletin VH001. You can learn more about VH001 here.
We will provide you with comprehensive details of all dampers tested, including photographic evidence of the damper before, during, and after testing.
If any issues are identified, we provide further photographs and advice on remedial works required.
How can we help? ECE Group Services - Fire Dampers, Smoke Dampers. Inspection and Testing
We offer specialist cleaning services including grease extract ventilation cleaning, laundry extract ventilation cleaning and ductwork cleaning. We also offer fire safety solutions including fire stopping, fire compartmentation and testing and inspecting.
Learn More About Our Fire Smoke Damper Inspection and Testing Solutions
Please get in touch to discuss your requirements or if you have any questions about our services. We provide flexible, bespoke solutions throughout the UK