Fire systems must never be scrimped on or forgotten. Life and death could very well be determined by keeping up with regulatory requirements of fire building safety, and failure to comply can pose an unnecessary risk to people who work inside.
Fire systems need frequent professional maintenance to ensure safe operation with Fire Dampers being a vital component in stopping the spread of a fire. Faulty dampers are very dangerous as they will fail to slow and stop the spread of fire in an emergency so proper functioning and regular fire damper testing is essential.
But, What Are Fire Dampers?
Fire Dampers are devices that are fitted in the air ducts and fire compartments in floors and walls, and may also run through a building’s ventilation system. The dampers act as a fire shutter and are designed to close when a set high temperature related to fire is detected to stop – or at least delay – the spread of a fire.
Fire Dampers also help to stop flames from passing into the ventilation system because with the additional oxygenation the fire can escalate rapidly and spread with dampeners interrupting that perilous airflow, essentially suffocating the fire. For this and many other reasons, they are essential for any institution or commercial premises, or any palace where people work or live. To work correctly the dampeners must be in the best functional order possible with nothing to block, delay, or impede them from doing their job.
What’s Involved With Fire Damper Testing?
Testing these vital components is a two-part process, best conducted by a professional or an allocated person trained for the task. First, a visual inspection must be carried out to check that there is nothing in the way of the dampeners opening and closing.
The visual inspection must be completed by the trained individual or professional hired for the task, which can be the person who is allocated as being in charge of the fire system – most companies or buildings will have one or more individuals assigned to the job.
They will look to confirm that the damper is installed properly and in accordance with building schematics as it varies from building to building. They will ensure there are now no visible signs of damage or corrosion, there are no repair requirements on the installation due to damage or failure.
They will also verify there are no obstructions to prevent proper closing in the case of an emergency. Another check that may be done is to open the dampers to check airflow – if it is low airflow, the dampers are likely not working well in a fire.
The second part of the test involves a Drop Test. This test will activate the dampers just like they would be in the case of a fire. High heat would be the usual activator to set the dampeners to release the fusible link and close, however, that fusible link can also be released manually in the case of testing.
It’s recommended that this test is done by a professional who understands the system and can also confirm the integrity of the mechanism and units at the same time. Fire dampers must close fully in an emergency and test, as the integrity of closure is what prevents smoke and fire from spreading through the entire building.
How Often Should You Conduct Fire Damper Testing?
There are government regulations in place for all aspects of fire safety. In relation to Fire Dampers, the regulations stipulate that testing must be carried out annually at a minimum after being thoroughly tested by a professional when they are installed.
Dampers in hospitals and other facilities considered higher-risk should have testing completed more frequently so it’s best to look up guidelines for your specific business or institution type. More information can be found in the approved government guidelines here.
Speak to an Expert
Fire safety is a vital component for any commercial business or public institution to ensure client and employee safety. Fire damper testing is essential and any type of safety testing is often best left to a professional.
Grease Gone are a specialist cleaning company, who have trained fire damper testing specialists who can help with your damper testing requirements. Reach out to Grease Gone to learn how we help keep you and your business safe in the event of a fire with their testing services that will keep your building safe and compliant.