Maintenance of dampers is often overlooked as part of an overall maintenance regime, following the adage ‘out of sight, out of mind’. Dampers are located within ventilation and air conditioning ducts and designed to prevent the spread of fire inside the ductwork. This process forms a critical part of any passive fire strategy. In the event of a rise in temperature, typically caused by heat or smoke, the damper will close, usually activated by a thermal component. Heat or smoke identified within the system may indicate presence of a fire, which should activate the closure of the damper blades and prevent the spread of fire through the building.
Fire Damper - A fire damper is defined as; “A moveable closure within a duct which is operated automatically or manually and is designed to prevent the passage of fire”
Fire dampers should be inspected annually as a minimum for correct function and condition in line with the Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order 2005 and physically cleaned when required. Inspection and functional testing of smoke/fire dampers should be separately specified.
Smoke Damper A smoke damper is defined as; “A moveable closure within a duct which is operated automatically or manually and is designed to prevent or allow the passage of smoke”
Fire damper testing, cleaning and maintenance must be performed in accordance with BS 9999:2017. This recently updated guidance now specifies that all fire dampers should be drop tested, cleaned and maintained at least every year. The revised standard also features updated recommendations for smoke and heat control; fire curtain barrier assemblies; mechanical ventilation and air-conditioning systems; shopping complexes; and ducting. Premises such as hospitals, may require the application of additional guidance, for example, Health Technical Memorandum (HTM) 03-01: Specialised ventilation for healthcare premises Part B:
To assist with the delivery of damper training and competence, DCUK FM have installed a damper wall with a variety of passive fire components installed. This enables training to be completed in a real life environment, which demonstrates good and poor practices such as a lack of fire compartmentation and non-operational dampers.
The damper training is conducted at our state of the art training academies in Welwyn Garden City and Ossett.
Please contact DCUK FM for further information at firstname.lastname@example.org or please call our Head Office on 0330 124 5671 where someone will be happy to help.