Fire dampers are passive protection items that are installed in heating, ventilating, as well as air conditioning (HVAC) air ducts. They help stop fires from spreading across a building by securing the ductwork and creating a closed compartment that is protected by flooring and walls that are fireproof.
How Do Fire Dampers Function?
Fire dampers are made up of the element of thermal that melts upon detecting rising temperatures. The temperature increase must be greater than the ambient temperature.
It should also be low enough to signify the appearance of a fire within the room. If the element that melts is melted then the springs shut the damper blades and close the ductwork.
It’s as easy as that.
The dampers are also linked to a building’s fire alarm system, allowing them to function on a schedule. When a detector for fire detects an alarm, a signal is sent to the damper telling it to shut.
What’s The Distinction Between Smoke And Fire Dampers?
Fire Damper installation is primarily done to stop or deter the spreading of flames in vents. It accomplishes this by sealing a compartment. This effectively encapsulates the fire inside the room (compartment) to prevent it from being getting spread throughout the structure.
The dampers for fires allow airflow to continue even when they are not being used. They immediately shut down upon detection of an incident of fire.
Smoke dampers function similarly. The greatest danger for those during a situation involving fire is the inhalation of smoke. A smoke damper shuts down automatically when it detects smoke in the area, stopping the passage of smoke as well as harmful gases through a fire barrier.
Smoke extraction pathways must be set within areas that allow people to be forced to leave a building, such as corridors, stairwells, etc.
Which Buildings Have Dampers For Fire?
They typically are located in large buildings, such as:
- Retail Premises
- Commercial Premises
- Universities, Schools, Colleges, And Schools
- Office Buildings For Offices
The Importance Of Maintaining The Fire Damper
Fire dampers are an element of a building’s safety system and require regular maintenance to meet the requirements of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order of 2005.
All fire safety systems should be maintained regularly and professionally to ensure that they function in the manner required. If a damaged fire damper installation is done it will hinder flame to spread across the building and could expose lives to danger.
The fire damper installation and maintenance are done after making sure all the regulations are in place and the systems meet standards. BS 9999:2017 regulations state that all fire dampers must be tested by a qualified person at the time of installation as well as at regular intervals.
Fire dampers operated by springs should be tested annually, while dampers for fires that are located in dusty and similar atmospheric conditions must be tested often, and at times suitable to the amount of pollutant.’
Testing is more common in hospitals or in high-risk areas.
Maintaining and testing regularly your fire dampers is a great way to save lives!
What Exactly Does An Inspection Of A Fire Damper Include?
A test for a fire damper requires the inspection of the damper’s fireproofing and dropping tests. You should perform regular inspections to ensure the equipment functions properly. That can be done by using attested fire inspection software.
A visual inspection of the system can:
- Check that the location of the fire damper ensures that the locations are in line with current data available.
- Examine the damper to ensure the correct placement such as being in the proper position to allow for the proper direction of airflow and without gaps around the structure.
- Check for damages or corrosion to dampers that might stop the device from working properly. If corrosion is found you should replace it immediately.
- Check for any obstructions that could hinder the fire damper from operating properly after activation.
- Examine any repairs that are required to the wall in the vicinity or ductwork that could affect the resistance to fire.
Drop tests ensure the device’s operation when it is turned on. The manual activation of the spring or thermal element allows the test of the gadget. All fire dampers must close completely when they are released. Delay can hinder the enclosing of a fire inside an area.
The device is reset after the test is completed. The surrounding ductwork needs cleaning to eliminate dust, and the thermal elements will need to be replaced when needed.
Who Is Responsible For Maintaining The Fire Alarms?
If you’re looking to maintain the fire protection of your home’s system it’s best to delegate it to professionals. We have years of experience maintaining and testing dampers at the Fire and Security company.
We service London and the surrounding counties for maintenance of your fire dampers and testing. We examine, maintain as well as test the system to ensure they are in compliance with the regulations for fire dampers. Any necessary repairs needed to ensure that the reliability of your safety system is maintained are highlighted.
We hope this article provides you with information and helps to understand the difference between a fire damper and a smoke damper.