Fire Damper Installation and Replacement
What is a Fire Damper?
Fire and smoke dampers are fitted in ductwork to prevent the spread of fire, they are usually used whenever there is a fire resistance wall (which is why Fire Damper Testing is so necessary). Fire dampers are responsible for slowing or stopping a fire inside of a Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system, helping to minimise any damage to the structure itself and most importantly to protect the people within the building.
Arrangements should be made for all fire dampers to be tested by a competent person on completion of the installation and at least annually, and to be repaired or replaced immediately if found to be faulty.’ Please refer to our fire damper testing page for more information.
Why do Fire and Smoke Dampers need to be installed?
Fire Compartmentation in buildings is generally provided by separating elements such as walls, floors, and ceilings. These separating elements are penetrated by ductwork system in order to supply and extract air throughout all areas of the structure. The ductwork passing through the separating elements creates an unobstructed route for fire and smoke to spread throughout the building.
The installation of fire dampers in line with these separating elements creates a passive barrier that will activate in the event of a fire and prevent the spread of fire and smoke. These fire dampers will need to be sealed into the fire break. Please see our page on fire stopping for more information.
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Why do Fire and Smoke Dampers need to be replaced?
The requirement to remedy any defects found with fire dampers is as important as the testing and maintenance itself. A defect with the surrounding fire break or a mechanical fault with the fire damper unit itself will result in a decreased efficiency to slow the spread of fire or render the fire break completely ineffective.
VH001 – Fire and Smoke Damper Maintenance was released in January 2020 giving clear instruction and providing an overview of responsibilities, legislation, maintenance, reporting and competency. This is a bulleting to support existing BESA publications, BS 9999 with DW145 – Installation and Maintenance of Fire and Smoke Dampers currently under review.
What are the responsibilities regarding Fire Damper installation and replacement?
As the building owner / responsible person on-site you need to ensure that all fire and smoke dampers within your building(s) are located, serviced, and tested (whether that be a drop test or otherwise). Hydro-X Fire can help to ensure you meet the regulatory requirements and support you in compiling an asset list and schedule to ensure regular checks are carried out and any defects are remedied for continued safe operation.
According to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, it is the employer’s responsibility to maintain their fire safety systems.
- As the buildings responsible person if you are made aware of faults to any fire safety equipment and do not act on them, you could be held responsible for any implications and be prosecuted in a court of law.
- If you run a business or own a building it is your responsibility to book regular fire damper tests and ensures that a proper maintenance plan is followed.
Fire Damper Replacements Before and After
With the enactment of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, it is now the employer’s responsibility to maintain their fire safety systems.
BS 9999 Annex W.1 Inspection and Maintenance states that:
Arrangements should be made for all fire dampers to be tested by a competent person on completion of the installation and at least annually, and to be repaired or replaced immediately if found to be faulty. 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.
BS 9999 Annex W.1 Inspection and Maintenance (Note 1) states that:
NOTE 1 Maintenance of air conditioning and ventilating equipment, including air filters, motors, fire dampers and their controls, smoke detectors and alarms, is of paramount importance both in preventing fire and in ensuring that measures taken to mitigate its consequences are effective when needed.
These publications are supported by the existing BESA publications with DW145 – Installation and Maintenance of Fire and Smoke Dampers currently under review.
At Hydro-X Fire, not only can we complete the fire damper installation and replacement, but we can also assist with the following fire damper services:
This should be carried out by law at least on a 12-monthly basis.
These com in many forms and sizes and are a vital piece in the functionality of the fire damper and efficiency of the HVAC system
These come in many forms from small perforation to fire damper units located completely outside of the fire break.
BS 9999 Annex W.1 Inspection and Maintenance (Note 2) states that: “The provision of access panels facilitates such cleansing, other maintenance, and also fire-fighting.”
DW145– Installation and Maintenance of Fire and Smoke Dampers states that the installation of a DW144 access door is a requirement for testing purposes.
TR19 – Internal Cleanliness of Ventilation Systems states that a DW144 access door is required either side of the fire damper unit for cleaning purposes.
Hydro-X Fire will analyse the above fire damper defects and suggest the most efficient solution possible. For further fire damper remedial information or to get a quote please use the contact sheet below.