Fire Dampers Are an Oft-overlooked but Vital Element of Fire Safety.

Not only do the dampers provide fire resistance rated walls, but they also have the ability to close off air supply vents and assist in controlling the rate and direction of fire or smoke spread. In order to ensure that the dampers are up to fire health codes, HVAC ducts and fire walls must be tested annually by a professional technician. Regular maintenance ensures dampers remain operational in case of an emergency, providing necessary protection from fire damage or casualties. While fire damage can be devastating, it’s important to recognise the importance of installing and testing the dampers as part of a comprehensive fire safety plan.

The Three Types of Dampers Are Fire Dampers, Smoke Dampers, and Fire-smoke Dampers.

fire dampers

Fire Dampers

Fire dampers are essential components of fire safety and protection measures. They prevent the spread of fire from one section of ductwork to another, acting as a barrier between fire-resistance-rated walls and floors. They are fixed, non-moving fire protection products that blend seamlessly into the HVAC system yet aggressively protect against fires within that system. When fire safety is a top priority in any building or facility, fire damper play an integral role in providing everyone with the assurance they need to know they are protected from fire. Smoke spreads in the event of an emergency.

Fire damper can be dynamic and static.

Smoke Dampers

Smoke damper are an important part of fire prevention and protection systems. They utilise smoke and heat detectors to automatically close off any area of a building in the event of a fire. Smoke dampers act as highly effective barriers that limit the spread of smoke and toxic gases throughout a ventilation system or between rooms, slowing and minimising the damage caused by a blaze. They can be remotely activated by existing monitoring systems and look further to protect people and their property from fire-related disasters.

Fire-smoke Dampers

Combination fire and smoke dampers are the preferred choices in protecting duct systems because they eliminate the need to install two separate dampers. Most of these dampers work by responding to either a high temperature or smoke detection, activating an electronic release that closes the damper more slowly than a fusible link used in fire dampers. This helps to alleviate pressure problems often commonly found in HVAC systems, providing better protection from fires and smoke inhalation within any given space

How Do Fire and Smoke Dampers Work?

A smoke damper and a fire damper both respond automatically when exposed to extreme temperatures or when smoke is detected. When the temperature reaches a set point, the fire damper slams shut to prevent the spread of smoke and toxic gases. Additionally, smoke detection activates smoke dampers to resist the passage of smoke and air through a fire barrier. Finally, these dampers can also be activated remotely for added safety and security measures.

There are several different options to choose from. Hard-wired solutions may be preferable for some rooms, while programmable solutions would work better in other cases. Hard-wired dampers will automatically engage when smoke is detected without needing a command sent from a sensor. On the contrary, programmed fire dampers can be controlled remotely and wired for full process automation. Mechanical smoke fire-dampers provide added fireprotection in emergencies where power lines may be shut off.

Fireprotection dampers installation in residential building.

Installation of Fire Dampers by Polyteck

fire dampers external horizontal

Fire damper installation is not something to be taken lightly, as incorrect installation could result in disastrous consequences. Fire dampers must be positioned in the right place and secured appropriately to ensure their fire containment function is adequate. With secure fire damper installation and mounting, there could still be gaps around the outside of the housing which would render any fire prevention measures effective. Keeping the dampers installed correctly is essential for maintaining fire compartment integrity and safety.

When it comes to dampers installation, correct positioning is imperative for them to work optimally. Dampers that are upside down or not installed at the angle specified by manufacturers cannot perform as intended, thus making them useless. Suppose you need more certainty about the required fire damper installation in your building. In that case, our highly experienced professionals will be available and more than happy to lend their expertise. So don’t wait – call us now!

Fire Damper Inspections and Maintenance From Polyteck

Polyteck’s engineers provide thorough inspections and maintenance services for fire dampers. This inspection and maintenance program ensures that the system’s actuation is simulated as required and that smoke dampers successfully close or open according to the specific system specifications. Polyteck’s trained technicians will also check for security and ease of movement in locking devices, as well as inspect dampers for wear, lubricate any linkages when necessary, check the operation of control mechanisms, tighten all terminal connections, diagnose potential over-heating issues, and inspect flexible conduits for damage. With our routine inspection and maintenance programs in place, we can guarantee improved safety across your systems.

alarm system

Fire Damper Drop Test

The fire damper drop test should be conducted at least once per year as an effective way to ensure fire safety. To complete the test, a member of the fire prevention and safety team must manually release the damper so that it closes fully. In cases of fire, high temperatures should cause the fire protection damper, which are fitted with fusible linke, to close, thus preventing fire from spreading from one area to another. This is why regular fire damper drop testing is so important; it confirms that they are ready and able to do their job if called upon by a fire event.

Frequency Asked Questions

What is a fire damper?

A fire damper is a vital safety device in HVAC systems that prevent the spread of fire and smoke through ducts and vents. It automatically shuts when exposed to high heat or flames and is installed in the ductwork that passes through walls, floors, and partitions.

What is the purpose of a fire damper in a ventilation system?

A fire damper is a vital safety device in HVAC systems that prevent the spread of fire and smoke through ducts and vents. It automatically shuts when exposed to high heat or flames and is installed in the ductwork that passes through walls, floors, and partitions.

What are the regulations regarding fire dampers in the UK?

In the UK, fire dampers are required in specific buildings under the Building Regulations Approved Document B (Fire Safety). Additional codes and standards also apply, including the BS 9999 Code of Practice for Fire Safety and the British Standards Institution’s PAS 121:2017 Fire Dampers.

What types of buildings require fire dampers?

In the UK, fire dampers are required in buildings over 18 metres, or with multiple stories, complex layouts, or certain uses. The specific requirements depend on the building type and fire risk.

What is the difference between a fire damper and a smoke damper?

A fire damper and a smoke damper are two types of passive fire protection devices used in HVAC systems, with different purposes.  Fire dampers prevent fire from spreading through ductwork, while smoke dampers keep smoke from spreading through air ducts.

How often should fire dampers be inspected and tested?

Fire damper inspection and testing frequency are recommended to make annually according to the BS 9999 Code of Practice. It is also advisable to perform extra inspections after any building alterations, HVAC system modifications, or fire events to ensure continued fire damper effectiveness.

How are fire dampers installed?

Fire dampers are installed within the ductwork of HVAC systems by cutting an opening and securing the damper according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

How can I tell if my building's fire dampers are working properly?

To check if your building’s fire dampers are working correctly, you should have them inspected and tested by a qualified professional who can assess their condition and performance. Building owners and managers can also perform visual checks to ensure dampers are not obstructed or damaged and that damper blades can move freely.

What are the consequences of not having functioning fire dampers in a building during a fire?

When a building lacks functioning fire dampers during a fire, there is an increased risk of injury or death, property damage, or legal and financial issues.

Benefits of Choosing Polyteck for Your Fire Protection Contractor

  • A comprehensive range of fire safety services:  Polyteck provides a comprehensive range of fire safety services such as fire risk assessments, alarm systems, and training. We can assist to meet all fire safety requirements in one place making it convenient for customers. 
  • Experienced team of experts: Our team of highly experienced experts provides exceptional service and ensures customer satisfaction.
  • Compliance with regulations: Our knowledge of relevant fire safety regulations and standards ensures compliance with all work.
  • 24/7 emergency call-out service: Polyteck offers 24/7 emergency call-out service so that customers can get help whenever necessary.
  • Tailored solutions: Polyteck works closely with each customer to develop tailored fire safety solutions that meet their specific needs and requirements, ensuring maximum protection for their property and occupants.

In Conclusion, It is Worth Mentioning That

A reliable maintenance service is paramount if you want to keep up with the ever-changing health and safety regulations. Polyteck maintenance services provide an excellent solution to ensure your property stays up-to-date and compliant. In addition, the regular inspection of your HVAC, alarm systems, and the dampers ensures they are in proper working condition and meet all necessary fire protection requirements. Fire dampers are especially important when it comes to safety; maintenance of these components helps prevent smoke from escaping through sectors in the building and creating dangerous situations. If you need more information on fire-protection dampers or other Fire & Safety services, contact us and we will provide you with a complete fire and safety plan.