Brakel Airvent releases free whitepaper on fire/smoke damper survey and maintenance
In our experience, a large part of the issue with proper damper maintenance is information, or a lack thereof.
There are many building owners and facilities managers who don’t know exactly how many dampers they have on site, or where exactly they are, or how precisely to access them, or what state of repair they might be in.
These issues – and that of actually servicing a damper once it’s identified – are considered in our latest whitepaper, which is free to download right now.
HVAC ductwork is a necessity of modern building design, but when a fire breaks out that very ductwork becomes a potential hazard; there’s no point having fire doors or fire resistant construction zones if there are deliberate channels provided for smoke, hot air and flames to pass through.
In such a situation there’s a danger the ducting system will become a distribution system, spreading hazardous smoke throughout a building and undermining all efforts to confine it and quickly deal with the cause of the blaze.
That’s where dampers come in. A requirement under the government’s Approved Document B, dampers are louvred vents or shutters situated at key points within the ducting system. In normal, everyday conditions they are inert, simply allowing the flow of air through them and not interfering in the system at all.
But if a fire starts they slam shut, blocking the duct and preventing smoke from passing through for a period of up to hours – in theory more than enough time to facilitate occupant escape and fire fighter entry.
The catch, unfortunately, is that after buildings are constructed or altered, it’s often the case that few records are kept of where these dampers are installed. And with poor records comes poor maintenance.
That’s why we created this white paper, helping FMs to understand dampers and develop ways of monitoring their location and status.
Bob Gate, UK Business Development and Marketing Manager at Brakel Airvent.
Published September 2017
... In our experience, a large part of the issue with proper damper maintenance is information, or a lack thereof. ...