Fire Damper Inspections, Reports & Schedules
Fire Dampers are passive fire protection components installed in ductwork and intended to prevent the passage of fire or fire and smoke from the fire compartment in which the damper is installed. Dampers are either thermally actuated or automatically actuated, i.e. triggered by smoke detectors.
There are an array of generic options including Curtain, Intumescent, Multi –blade, Single blade, Multi-section, Leakage classified, Insulated and Smoke Control, coming in a range of fire performance ratings. The choice of damper should be dependent on what is required to satisfy the fire integrity or fire resistance of the fire compartment in which it is contained and the overall fire strategy of the building, so it is of vital importance to ensure that the duct and damper design, procurement, installation and inspection will meet expected requirements in the event of a fire.
Inspections & Maintenance
The overall damper system performance includes the method and fire rating of its structural / mechanical support, including angle clamps and suspension rods, and the fire seal around the duct where it penetrates the wall, floor or fire barrier in, for example, a roof or ceiling void. All require to be in accordance with what is specified and tested by the damper’s manufacturer. As stated in Approved Document B there is also a requirement to support the ductwork from either side of the damper “to ensure that in a fire, expansion of the ductwork would not push the fire damper through the structure” – this is typically specified to be installed within 500 mm of the damper.
Dampers are often concealed within a ceiling void and this can sometimes create issues regarding access to the dampers and their actuating mechanisms to enable competent inspection, maintenance and testing to take place. All buildings containing fire dampers should have a full inventory determining type and location and evidence of their regular inspection and maintenance.