Fire and Smoke Damper Testing

Fire and smoke dampers are an essential safety precaution in any building, and regulations dictate that they must be inspected, cleaned and repaired on a regular basis.

Fire dampers are so often pushed to the back of the maintenance list and forgotten about when it comes to annual checks and repairs. Fire dampers that work correctly save lives and prevent major damage to buildings, meaning they should be on the priority list of every building owner.

 Our highly qualified team is ready to carry out inspections, cleaning and maintenance of fire and smoke dampers. We check both mechanical and automated dampers to ensure that they are working within industry standards and manufacturer guidelines.

What we can do for you:

  • Check to ensure that all fire dampers installed can be reached for testing and cleaning.
  • Review the installation that was done to ensure that each damper was fitted correctly.
  • Reinstall any fire and smoke damper that has been incorrectly installed.
  • Manually inspect the damper to discover any potential damage or maintenance issues.
  • Release each damper to ensure that the spring mechanism works properly and that the shutter can close fully and form a complete seal. This is known as a drop test.
  • Take photographs of each damper before cleaning or maintenance work begins to ensure the client is happy. This will be done before any work commences.
  • Create a list of all the repair work that is required, including rust or corrosion found and an itemised list of any parts that need replacing.
  • Report on any access issues to the fire and smoke dampers.
  • Provide a full inventory of the fire and smoke dampers in the building, including their location and identification numbers.
  • Repair and maintenance work will commence once the initial report is approved by the client.
  • Clean and lubricate all mechanical parts to ensure that they function properly in the event of a fire.
  • Perform a second drop test on all units once they have been cleaned and repaired.
  • Take more photographs as evidence of the work done on each fire damper.
  • Once work is complete, all fire and smoke dampers will be reset to their open position.
  • The client will be supplied with a full report of each unit’s status, the work that was done on it and will receive a certification that the unit will work in the case of an emergency.

ISO Standards

At Halcyon, we ensure that all work done on fire and smoke dampers is completed in accordance to the standards set within ISO 21925-1. We use the most recent documents put out by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) when working through our assessment process and carrying out maintenance work.

Fire and smoke dampers are critical for building safety

Fire and smoke dampers react to high temperatures in a building’s ventilation ducts, closing sharply to prevent the spread of smoke and fire, as well as reducing the flow of oxygen to a fire. This automated action can help to save lives by stopping the spread of a fire, giving people those much-needed minutes to get out safely. It can also keep the building and items kept within it safe, as well as prevent the complete destruction of the building.

When it comes to fire safety, most building owners will run various tests and drills. They look at the alarm system and ensure that tenants within know what to do when a fire occurs. Getting people out of the building and ensuring that the alarm will work in an emergency are both critical to minimising damages and ensuring all occupants are able to exit safely. However, the fire dampers in the building are just as essential, and are all too often neglected.

Fire and smoke dampers spend most of their time in the open position with a spring-loaded mechanism ready to swing the unit shut when sent a signal. This signal will usually come from a thermal sensor in the unit or the ventilation ducts, or it can come from the smoke detectors and fire alarm system within the building. The units will then shut to hold off smoke and fire (or in some instances, can even stifle the fire) until they are consumed, giving time for the people within the building to get out. This extra time can also allow emergency services to reach the scene and prevent further damage.

The main problem encountered when fire and smoke dampers are not tested regularly or properly maintained, is that the mechanism ceases to work properly when it is needed the most. Yearly testing and maintenance will go a long way towards ensuring that these units are always in tip-top condition and can be depended upon to work effectively should a fire occur.

Regulations for yearly testing

In 2017, the regulations around fire and smoke dampers in BS 9999 in the UK were updated to state that all units within a building must be inspected, cleaned and tested on a yearly basis. The laws also state that this inspection and testing must be done by a qualified and competent person in order for the building to meet the required standards.

At Halcyon, we have specialised teams in place that are qualified to run inspections and carry out tests. We are also able to supply you with a full report covering every unit within your building. Our reports meet the required standards and our experts know how to properly test and maintain fire and smoke dampers.

It is the responsibility of the building owner to ensure that the installed fire and smoke dampers are compliant with the regulations and standards. If there is a fire and the dampers do not work correctly, the building owner is liable to face a significant fine and/or jail time if their building occupants are injured or killed. To give peace of mind all round, it’s best to ensure that your building is inspected regularly and kept to the highest standard of safety for both you and your occupants.

Fire and smoke dampers spend most of their time in the open position with a spring-loaded mechanism ready to swing the unit shut when sent a signal. This signal will usually come from a thermal sensor in the unit or the ventilation ducts, or it can come from the smoke detectors and fire alarm system within the building. The units will then shut to hold off smoke and fire (or in some instances, can even stifle the fire) until they are consumed, giving time for the people within the building to get out. This extra time can also allow emergency services to reach the scene and prevent further damage.

The main problem encountered when fire and smoke dampers are not tested regularly or properly maintained, is that the mechanism ceases to work properly when it is needed the most. Yearly testing and maintenance will go a long way towards ensuring that these units are always in tip-top condition and can be depended upon to work effectively should a fire occur.

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Get a free, no-obligation quote on our specialist hygienic dry pipe cleaning service.

Why choose Halcyon?

The Halcyon Group has 16 years’ experience in cleaning and hygiene services and has national coverage. We use the latest technologies and techniques and employ professionally trained specialist cleaning operatives.

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