Why Do I Need Fire Damper Testing?

Some building managers are unsure if the building even has fire dampers – let alone when they were last tested. As the number one Essex fire damper testing company, we will help identify and locate each fire damper in the building and ensure it is installed correctly as well as cleaning and lubricating it before undertaking a drop test.

When working correctly, a fire damper can be an important barrier to prevent the spread of fire in a building, so it is important to keep on top of regular testing. With recent high-profile building fires and the subsequent Hackett Report, it is vital to take the steps you can to prevent a fire from spreading. Our fire damper testing procedure will ensure every step is taken to ensure the fire damper is working at its best and installed correctly to keep the building occupants safe.

Over the years, it may be necessary for parts to need replacing and we will identify if this is necessary or if the fire damper will benefit from lubrication and cleaning to work at its best once again.

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What is a Fire Damper and How Does it Work?

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, which protect fire escape routes in the event of a fire. 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.

Whichever system you have, we will identify, locate and access all fire dampers in the building to ensure they are working correctly. Our fire damper testing staff are fully qualified to ensure that  fire damper testing requirements are met fully, and we can ensure your system is working at its most effective.

Why Do I Need Fire Damper Testing and What Are The Fire Damper Testing Requirements?

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 fire damper testing procedure with the local fire prevention officer.

Swiftclean is a reliable Essex fire damper testing company and prides itself on expert care and attention. All staff that conduct these tests are fully qualified to carry out these tests effectively. We’ll explain the process to you every step of the way and give our expert advice and recommendations based on what we find.  We will then suggest the next best steps  to take to ensure the safety of the building.

Fire damper testing should always be carried out by a qualified competent professional.

Why are fire dampers difficult to test?

First and foremost, it can be difficult to identify, locate and access fire dampers during fire damper testing. Without expert testing, there is the risk that they can be missed or not maintained properly. When they are identified, they are often difficult to access which is essential to be able to check the blades inside the ductwork.

What happens after fire damper testing?

Once we have carried out your fire damper testing, you will receive a written report confirming your compliance with legislation BS 9999:2017. We recommend that this is kept on file as it includes  before and after photos of each fire damper and their location and damper number so you can provide this to a Safety Compliance officer if required to confirm the fire safety of your building.

What exactly happens in a fire damper drop test?

To test if a fire damper is working efficiently, one of the team will release the fire damper manually to  ensure it closes fully. In cases of fire the high heat should release the fusible link and close the fire damper to prevent the fire spreading. It is important that the fire damper is reset correctly following testing, so it will work correctly in the event of a real fire.

Swiftclean commitment:

  • 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

Call for a FREE quote

Please call us or email info@swiftclean.co.uk for further advice and a free quote.

CALL 0800 243 471

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All You Ever Wanted to Know About Fire Damper Testing

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