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Fire and Smoke Damper Testing

Fire and smoke damper testing and maintenance is an legal requirement in fire safety and must be carried out by the building owner or person of fire responsibility on an annual basis in order to comply with BS-9999. 

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Fire dampers are crucial passive fire protection products used in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning ducts to prevent the spread of fire inside the ductwork, through fire-resistance rated walls and floors. In the event of a rise in temperature, the fire damper closes, usually activated by a thermal element. As they are open most, if not all of the time, it is vital to ensure that fire dampers will still close effectively when required, and the only way to ensure this is to test and maintain ALL of the dampers in your system – even the inaccessible ones. There is no exception to the rule with annual testing as a minimum to protect your building and its occupants.

BS 9999 provides a best practice framework for fire safety and includes standards for the definition, maintenance and testing of fire dampers. It states that all fire dampers should meet the criteria of fire resistance for a stated period of time and that: All fire dampers should be tested by a competent person at regular intervals not exceeding one year, and to be repaired or replaced immediately if found to be faulty. Spring-operated fire dampers should be tested annually and fire dampers situated in dust laden and similar atmospheres should be tested much more frequently, at periods suited to the degree of pollution.

Our ventilation hygiene and duct work specialists can help you get your building into shape with an annual Fire Damper Testing and Maintenance service which includes:

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Locate and test all fire and smoke dampers

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Maintain as appropriately, cleaning and lubricating to the level of pollution and degradation

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Report on the condition of each fire damper

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Digital photographic evidence of fire damper condition, before and after testing

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Supply inspection test results including drawings with annotated details

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Recommendations with corrective or remedial action

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Provide or update asset register include location, ID number

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The definitive standard for Fire and Smoke Damper planned maintenance, sets out specific actions required as follows:

 

What is BS 9999?

BS 9999:2017 Code of practice for fire safety in the design, management and use of buildings

BS 9999 gives recommendations and guidance on the design, management and use of buildings to achieve reasonable standards of fire safety for all people in and around them. It also provides guidance on the on-going management of fire safety within a building throughout its entire life cycle, including guidance for designers to ensure that the overall design of a building assists and enhances the management of fire safety. It applies to the design of new buildings, to material alterations and extensions, and to change of material use for existing buildings.

BS 9999 aligned the standard with current good practices, new technology, and other recently revised fire safety standards, including BS9990 and BS9991.

The main points of BS9999 include:

  • A flowchart showing the steps in the design process, assisting users in the application of the standard
  • The revision of a clause regarding fire safety management
  • The inclusion of fire suppression systems
  • The guidance on voice alarms has been expanded
  • More information is provided through an expanded fire growth rates table
  • Updated recommendations for ducting, heat and smoke control, air-conditioning and ventilation systems, fire curtain barriers assemblies, and shopping centres
  • Important BESA guidance on fire & smoke damper testing and maintenance

Maintenance of fire and smoke dampers from the Building & Engineering Association (BESA) outlines that where normal use of the ventilation system gathers an accumulation of dust, fire damper testing should be more frequent, to prevent contamination on the fire damper and its operational parts. The dust must be removed and the fire damper tested regularly to ensure that it operates as designed, should a fire occur. In a healthcare setting, additional care is needed to ensure that the fire damper also complies with Health Technical Memorandum (HTM) 03-01: Specialised ventilation for healthcare premises Part B: Operational management and performance verification. In care applications we will help the client to agree to a regular testing interval with the local fire prevention officer.

What can cause Fire Damper Failure?

What Can Cause Fire Dampers To Fail?

There are a number of reasons fire damper fail, the most common being obstructions, debris, poor installation, lack of maintenance and corrosion leading to spring and componet failure. Air pollutants and chemicals in certain types of building, such as a swimming pool, can cause accelerated degradation, impacting tight seals and spring functioning and ultimate failure.

One failure can have disatourous impact on the spread of smoke and fire throughout a building leading to loss of property, damage or loss of life.

As the building owner or person responsible for your fire saftey, it is critical that safety systems are checked annually, or more frequent if in an aread of high pollutants or degradation – inspected and maintained.

Don’t gamble life with fire.

Fire/Smoke Damper Inspection and Maintenance
  1. Inventory of all dampers to be tested.
  2. All Fire/Smoke dampers will be manually released to ensure the integrity of the spring loaded shutter.
  3. The Fusible link should be inspected for any deformity or damage.
  4. The Fire/Smoke Damper will be cleaned and lubricated within the closed position.
  5. The Fire/Smoke Damper shall then be opened and re-set.
  6. Any severe corrosion found shall be reported to the client.
  7. Test results with client information including position within the building/system, date, and name of operative shall be recorded and any comments noted if further action is required.
  8. Asset register to include damper location and ID number.
  9. Inspection results including details of failed damper operation.
  10. If drawings are provided, update and annotate details.
  11. Digital photographic evidence of damper condition prior to and after testing procedures unless otherwise specified by client.
  12. Explanation of failed operation and recommended corrective or remedial action.
Accessing Fire Dampers

It can be difficult to identify, locate and access fire dampers for fire damper testing, even in newer buildings. Expert testing from competant ductwork engineers is required to ensure hidden dampers are discovered so they can be maintained properly. Difficult to access fire dampers must be accessed and panels installed to gain access where necessary.

Kitchen Extract Cleans

Degrease, clean and certify your kitchen extract system to meet strict TR/19 standards required by your insurance for fire and hygiene competancies.

Pre-Commission Cleans

Comply with TR/10 specification for new building ventilation systems and ensure the air system is free from building site dust and debris.

Commercial Kitchen Cleans

Deep hygiene clean on kitchen surfaces and to stop harmful bacteria from spreading onto food. We will make sure you are fully EHO compliant.

High-Level Cleans

Working at height trained operatives clean safely and efficiently using using scissor lifts and self- propelled booms to reach up high levels.

COVID Cleaning

3 levels of COVID sanitisation service includes full buidling fogging, section and touch point. Medical grade swab test and certification for assurance.

Kitchen Deep Cleans

Certified kitchen deep cleaning service for canopies, vents, ducts, filters and surfaces. Compliance report includes certification and photographic evidence.

Hygiene Cleans

Ensure a clean safe environment for customers, building users and staff - minimise lost working days through illness with regular hygiene cleaning.

Laundry Extract Cleans

Ensure your laundry extract ducts are free for highly flammable fabrics and lint and compliant with fire health and safety legislation.

LEV Testing

Local extract ventilation - LEV testing and examination to comply with COSHH regulations - for fume cupboards and manufacturing environments.

Fire Damper Testing

Inspection and servicing of building fire dampers. Tested at regular intervals to comply BS9999 fire damper maintenance legislation.

Air Duct Cleaning

Extraction devices, air jets and brushes are used to clean your ducting and improve the indoor air quality circulating in your ventilation system. 

Bathroom Extract Cleans

Bathroom extract systems harbour grime, dirt and other airborne bacteria, keep them clean to ensure quality bathroom hygiene and filtration.

ESP Cell Maintenance

Specialist ESP cells cleaning, maintenance and replacement. Aligned with our dynamic inspection and preservation service.

Let's Work Together

Our philosophy is 'do it right, first time'. Our team are here to make your essential maintenance easy, help you stay compliant, and strive to make cost and operational efficiencies for you where we can.

Who are Pro-Duct Clean

We are an independent business headquartered on the Essex/Suffolk border.

Our Experience

20 years young, we have cleaned nearly 7000 miles of ducting. No building is too big (or small) - we have the right tools and team whatever the job. We know our business, we know the standards, we can help you with compliance and professional cleaning.

What regions do we cover

We mainly serve businesses in London, the East, and South East, we do travel further afield as required by our clients.

Who are our customers

Our clients include: hotels, hospitals, prisons, schools, care homes, office buildings, universities, pubs, historical buildings, private estates and restaurants. We work directly with clients, or via facilities management companies and resellers.

Our team

Our team highly trained in the latest standards and techniques you need. Our site operatives are available to work around your business timings to minimise shutdown disruption.