Why inspection and test fire and smoke dampers?
The necessity to inspect and test fire (FD) and smoke dampers (SD) is enforced by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
This is a crucial maintenance regime that must be carried out annually. Failure to be able to produce evidence of inspection and testing may result in prosecution.
Over the years, we have seen many Fire Dampers installed incorrectly with the installation tape still intact, wedged open with wood/screwdrivers/, service cables running through or in front of FDs, gaps, and blades half dropped and stuck in situ.
It is imperative that an annual inspection and test of the FDs and SDs are carried out by a competent person. All of our technicians are trained and have attended a CITB NI & CPD course for Inspection & Testing of Fire and Smoke Dampers.
Regulations on inspection & testing of Fire and Smoke
To ensure best practice and a safe environment, there are several regulations, standards and guidelines on inspecting and testing of Fire Dampers and Smoke Dampers.
There are many other regulations and guidance, but we have highlighted the most critical to ensure that you as a building owner or facility manager, are aware of your legal obligations.
BS 9999:2017 Code of practice for fire safety in the design, management and use of building covers Inspection and maintenance of ventilation and air conditioning ductwork and states that:
“Arrangements should be made for all fire dampers to be tested by a competent
person on completion of the installation and at least annually, 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.”
Failure to comply with the above can lead to insurance company invalidating your claim for damages or not renewing your insurance policy. Along with a possible prosecution from EHO or Fire Department.
You could be prosecuted and fined under the Health & Safety (Offences) Act 2009.
We provide each project with specific method statements and risk assessments to ensure that your project is bespoke and completed to the highest standard.
Overclean will carry out a full asset survey of your Fire Dampers. During the inspection access panels may be required to gain access to the dampers for visual and physical checking. These can be supplied and fitted during the survey.
Using our new bespoke software programme, we record the asset, take photos for evidence and highlight any advisories.
The Fire Dampers will be internally inspected for signs of corrosion, obstruction or accumulated dust and dirt. If the dampers are dirty, they shall be cleaned via manual vacuuming. If there are any obstructions these need to be removed.
The Fire Dampers shall then be tested for freedom of movement by manually opening and closing the dampers by removal of the actuators or via the ETS test switch. If available a different coloured link to be applied to show that link has been tested.
Upon the completion of the inspection and testing, the information gathered on the Jobwatch software will be sent directly to our main office, where a full report is complied with a failed list of dampers included for easy reference.
All fire dampers will be marked on the drawings supplied or asset list. The frequency of reporting will be as agreed with the Site Contact