- Identify and locate each fire damper
- Retrofit access doors if any of these are inaccessible
- Carry out fire damper testing, cleaning and drop testing and reset each fire damper
- Provide accurate records of fire damper testing, cleaning and drop testing, including before and after photographs of cleaning
- Identify any problems and recommend remedial action
- Carry out remedial work where required
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. This melts at temperatures higher than ambient but low enough to indicate the presence of a fire, allowing springs to close the damper blades. Fire dampers can also close following receipt of an electrical signal from a fire alarm system utilising detectors remote from the damper, indicating the sensing of heat or smoke in the building occupied spaces or in the duct system.
As they are open most, if not all of the time, it is vital to ensure that they will still close effectively when required. By providing a barrier beyond which the fire cannot pass, effective fire dampers save lives; so regular fire damper testing (known as drop testing) as well as fire damper cleaning and maintenance is both a legal requirement and a critical part of building fire safety management. Swiftclean is one of the UK’s leading specialist buildings services providers offering a fire damper testing, cleaning and maintenance service, in accordance with BS 9999:2017. This recently updated guidance now specifies that all fire dampers should be drop tested, cleaned and maintained at least every year.
This is because normal use of the ventilation system gathers an accumulation of contamination on the fire damper and its operational parts. This 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, so Swiftclean also complies with Health Technical Memorandum (HTM) 03-01: Specialised ventilation for healthcare premises Part B: Operational management and performance verification. In care applications Swiftclean will help the client to agree a regular testing interval with the local fire prevention officer.