What are fire dampers?
Fire dampers are louvre-like devices installed where ventilation ductwork crosses a fire-resistant wall, door or curtain. In normal conditions the dampers remain open to allow airflow, but automatically close on the detection of heat or smoke. They are designed to impede the spread of fire, buying invaluable time to evacuate the building.
- Effective fire dampers save lives and must be tested by a competent person after they have been installed and at regular intervals using a method known as ‘drop testing’.
- Previously, under BS:9999 2008, fire dampers were categorised according to their type; a small number needed to be drop tested only every two years; now all fire dampers must be drop tested and cleaned annually.
The big problem is that many buildings have no records of where fire dampers were originally installed, so the building owner or manager is given no clear idea of how many, or where dampers have been installed.
To add to that confusion buildings are often altered over several years which, can unwittingly obstruct access to the dampers. Hence fire damper maintenance often falls into non-compliance.
What we do
The Meritas Fire and Security Damper Service:
- Conduct a detailed site survey to identify and locate each fire damper
- Modify any inaccessible hatches and remove obstructions
- Carry out fire damper testing, cleaning, fire damper drop test and reset each fire damper
- Identify any problems and recommend remedial action
- Carry out remedial work as necessary
- Certify testing – provide accurate records of fire damper drop testing and cleaning, including before and after photographs of cleaning
Meritas carry out inspection, testing and remedial works on fire and smoke dampers as well as motorised fire and smoke dampers (MFD’s). Where the MFD’s are linked to the fire alarm system and building management system (BMS) we will carry out a test and inspection to make sure the ‘Cause and Effect’ meet the fire strategy and building regulations.
We also carry out Fireman’s Override Panel tests to establish the Cause and Effect and whether it meets the Fire Strategy for the building.