Do you know the importance of preventative maintenance when it comes to fire and smoke dampers? Read on to see the issues we discovered at some facilities.
Often, when times are tough in business, one of the first things to be dropped is preventative maintenance. In the case of fire and smoke damper maintenance and inspections, there are serious consequences for not having these carried out by a professionally accredited company.
Businesses often hope they can save dollars on maintenance and only call a technician when a breakdown occurs. When it comes to legislation it is important to have dampers checked annually and having them checked by the right technician is imperative.
The images below were taken by our technicians at Aged Care facilities. They show a number of works that were passed by unqualified technical staff.
This fire damper was installed eight years ago. It has been inspected and passed by another company. The problem is it is installed upside down and therefore cannot close in the case of a fire. The curtain and fusible link should be at the top of the damper, so in the case of a fire it drops and blocks the fire from going to the next room.
This smoke damper was signed off a year earlier and passed by another company. The issue is it is when the damper is driven closed by a fire alarm the damper is closed and there are several holes drilled into the damper. This has been done to control the air flow into the room after the smoke damper motor burnt out but it fails the integrity of the damper by allowing fire and smoke into the room.
Figure 3 & 4
Here we have two more fire dampers that were previously passed by another company. As you can see there is several years of dust and dirt build up on the curtain. In the case of a fire there is no way the curtain can drop and seal. This will allow fire and smoke to penetrate the adjoining rooms.
Here we have a smoke wall separating two sections of a building. These renovations were carried out 12 years ago and have been passed every year since from another company. The problem is there is no smoke damper installed in the wall where the ductwork penetrates it. In the case of a fire the smoke now has a path to travel from one side of the smoke zone to the next via the duct. By installing a smoke damper and motor that closes on a fire alarm, the smoke can no longer travel between smoke zones in the case of a fire.
Fire and smoke dampers make up part of a wide range of fire and smoke essential fire safety measures including mechanical shutdowns, stair pressurisation, smoke exhaust systems, smoke spill systems and smoke zone control.
Fire and smoke damper maintenance and inspections are imperative and it is essential these are carried out by qualified technical staff.
If you have any questions please contact our team of professionals and safety experts at Form1.