Fire Damper Maintenance Legislation
The British Standard 9999 Code of Practice for Fire Safety in the Design, Management & Use of Buildings requires all ducting, whether it is for ventilation, heating or air conditioning to be fitted with fire dampers.
All ductwork should be fitted with fire dampers that have been tested upon installation.
Fire dampers are designed to prevent a fire from being able to spread through the ductwork to other areas of a building. Most of these mechanical devices have a fusible link, which is defined by BS 99999 as a ‘device that releases a component such as a fire damper or fire shutter at a set temperature.’ Basically when the fusible link comes into contact with high heat, it will melt, causing the damper to close and stop the spread of fire.
Fire dampers can also be operated automatically. Some companies choose to install electronic fire dampers that are linked to the building’s fire alarm system. When a fire is detected in a part of the building, an electric signal is sent to the fire damper telling it to close and prevent the fire spreading through.
Fire dampers play a crucial role in buildings’ fire safety systems, which is why it is important that they operate correctly. The difference between a well maintained fire damper and a poorly maintained fire damper could be the difference between life and death if there is a fire in your building. With this in mind, it is important to make sure that your fire dampers are inspected, tested and maintained on a regular basis.
Regularly testing and maintaining your fire dampers can save lives.
BS 9999 fire damper maintenance legislation
The BS 9999 legislation on fire damper maintenance states that all fire dampers must be tested by a competed person after they have been installed and at regular intervals not exceeding two years. If you have had spring-operated fire dampers installed in your ducting, then you will need to have these tested at least every 12 months or even more frequently if they are installed in an area that is affected by high levels of dust or pollution. According to HTM03-1 fire dampers in hospitals must also be tested every twelve months.
Unless you have certification to prove that you can safely carry out a fire damper, it is best to call in the experts. Ductbusters provide a comprehensive fire damper drop testing service. We will carry out the tests on your behalf and create a report on the condition of the fire dampers.
Having your fire dampers tested will highlight if there is anything wrong with them that could potentially cause them to fail at the duty of preventing the spread of fire. It will also allow you to evaluate the condition of each part of your fire dampers so you can plan for them to be replaced.
According to the BS 9999 fire damper legislation, you must ensure that your fire dampers are repaired or replaced immediately if found to be faulty. It is highly recommended that you create a maintenance plan to help you budget and schedule repairs, ensuring your fire dampers remain in a fully working condition.
Whose responsibility is fire damper maintenance?
According to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, it is the employer’s responsibility to maintain their fire safety systems. If you run a business or own a building it is your responsibility to book regular fire damper tests and ensures that a proper maintenance plan is followed.
Our fire damper testing service
Ductbusters will perform a fire damper inspection and drop test on all fire dampers (subject to access) and provide advice on any remedial work required. If for one reason or another fire dampers are jammed, we will ensure that you are alerted immediately, so you can get them fixed and prevent the fire integrity of your ductwork system from being compromised.
For more information about fire damper maintenance legislation and how to ensure you are compliant, feel free to contact Ductbusters on 0800 085 0403.
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