Fire Damper Testing
We undertake statutory fire damper inspections and annual fire damper testing as per BESA VH001. Our competent engineers can clean & inspect fire dampers during fire damper testing and can undertake fire damper remedials as required.
Fire Dampers: What are they & how do they work?
Fire dampers are part of a buildings passive fire protection system. Contractors install fire dampers inside ductwork which can help prevent the spread of fires from one compartment to another. As a result, the dampers need to be fitted in fireproof walls, ceilings, floors or partitions.
Fire dampers usually come with a fusible link (thermal element). The link activates when higher than normal temperatures melt it. This will then allow the damper to close to secure a fire barrier within the ductwork. A closed damper will help localize a fire and keep it from spreading to the rest of the building.
There are multiple different designs and styles of fire dampers, but they all do the same thing. They keep people in your building alive, giving them more time to escape the building.
Requirements & Legislation Damper Testing
Fire and smoke dampers are an integral part of a building's fire strategy. They require annual fire damper testing, alongside regular fire damper inspections to ensure all components are operating as designed. British Standard BS9999:2017 outlines UK fire damper requirements, stipulating that all fire and smoke dampers receive a thorough fire damper testing service on an annual basis as a minimum.
Industry estimates are that approximately 250,000 new fire dampers are installed into buildings each year in the UK and these components have been commonplace in installations for over 20 years. This means that there are estimated to be in excess of 2.5 million of these components nationally that require an annual inspection and test.
As part of our fire damper testing service, we provide a full and thorough report of all fire dampers located on-site. These locations will be marked upon building ventilation drawings which provide a visual reference of all fire dampers located on site. Every fire damper will be given a unique asset number and the details relating to the fire damper will be recorded. The information each engineer will collate is location, size, type of damper, manufacturer details, and confirmation of its correct function. Digital images will also support this, with photographs taken of every fire damper in an open and closed position and included in the report. The fire damper should be dropped, cleaned, and then reset to the correct condition. We will photograph access restrictions or any remedial requirements relating to specific dampers.
All Extract Compliance engineers have received industry training in fire damper testing and possess a thorough knowledge of the requirements for different damper manufacturers and the correct installation requirements of the devices. Some automated dampers may require the fire alarm / controls companies to attend at the same time as the testing to verify that the centralized control panels are operating with the dampers correctly.
Due to the nature of the dampers disturbing the air path they are often found to collect dust and debris at a faster rate than the ventilation distribution ductwork. Many fire dampers particularly in extraction systems that have no filtration become heavily contaminated very quickly. It can be the case that in certain systems, fire damper testing is required more frequently than once per annum. This is where conditions can cause fire dampers to require more maintenence, such as cleaning and inspections.