For Safe, Compliant Buildings

Do you own, manage or are in charge ofoversee a property, shop, buildings or premises?

If so, have you ever thought about what could happen if a fire was to break out?

Most people, employers and businesses are aware of their typical fire prevention, detection, protection and suppression systems such as smoke alarms, fire extinguishers and sprinklers etc. They also know where they are located and how often they must be checked, tested and maintained in order to ensure that they are in full working order and compliant with the relevant fire safety standards.

However, when it comes to fire dampers, because of their location hidden away inside ductwork, it is not unusual for them to go completely ignored, unchecked and untested for years at a time which is extremely dangerous, not to mention against the law.

At Swiftclean, our team of dedicated, expert engineers carry out a professional fire damper testing and maintenance service that works to ensure your building and everyone who uses it is safe.

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    What is the purpose of fire dampers?

    Fire dampers are crucial passive fire protection products that are fitted inside heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. They help to prevent the spread of smoke and fire inside the ductwork where they pass through fire barrier walls, doors and floors. Without functioning dampers in place, smoke and fire can pass through the ductwork and spread rapidly to other areas of the building.

    Fire dampers have blades that open and close and are designed to act a bit like roller shutters. When not in use they remain open, allowing the free flow of air throughout the ducts until they are activated either thermally or electrically, triggering the damper so the blades quickly slam shut.

    Sealing the duct off creates a barrier which works to;

    • Hold back the fire from passing through the fire resistant barrier
    • Prevent smoke and fire from travelling through ductwork to other areas of the building
    • Maintains the integrity of fire escape routes
    • Gives those inside more time to safely evacuate
    • Provides vital extra minutes needed for emergency services to arrive

    Why do fire dampers need testing?

    Fire dampers are a crucial part of fire safety for any large building from warehouses, public buildings, factories and commercial spaces to offices, flats and HMO’s. They need to be kept in top working order because if not, they could be the difference between life and death for those who live, work or visit the property.

    Not only are fire dampers tucked away inside ductwork where they cannot be easily seen to check , but they remain open constantly, unless they are triggered by a fire. This means that there is no way to tell that they are working and will close properly if they are needed, and a fire breaks out. The only way to check that they are working is to carry out regular checks, tests and maintenance.

    Fire damper testing services

    At Swiftclean, our team of experienced fire safety specialists are here to help ensure that your property and its occupants are safe with our fast, reliable and cost-effective Essex fire damper testing services.

    If you have any questions or would like to know more about fire damper drop testing and maintenance, then please do not hesitate to get in touch and one of our knowledgeable advisors will be happy to help.


    What does fire damper testing and maintenance entail?

     Professional fire damper testing and maintenance should include;

    • Locating all fire dampers and creating an inventory of where they all are in the building.
    • Inspecting each damper for damage, obstructions and corrosion.
    • A drop test on every fire damper to check their effectiveness.
    • A report on the individual condition of each fire damper.
    • Photographic evidence of the fire dampers condition both before and after testing.
    • Maintenance where appropriate – cleaning and lubricating channels and runners etc.
    • Recommendations for corrective or remedial action on anything that needs to be repaired or replaced.
    • Reset all fire dampers.
    • Inspection test results including any drawings and annotated details.
    • A comprehensive report containing details on all locations, maintenance, suggested repairs, replacements, recommendations and detailed exception reports for any failures that were found.

    How often do fire dampers need testing?

    In accordance with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order all fire safety devises must be regularly tested, “it is a legal requirement to test fire dampers at regular intervals and in accordance with fire safety in the design, management and use of buildings code of practice (BS:9999 2017), using a method known as drop testing”.

    This states that all fire dampers must be tested by a competent person after installation and then annually moving forward with no more than 12 months between testing. Those that are operating in high-risk facilities such as hospitals or dust laden atmospheres may need to be tested more frequently. It also declares that if anything is found to be faulty then it must be repaired or replaced immediately.

    What causes fire dampers to fail?

    There are several things that can cause fire damper to fail and because they are hidden away inside ductwork these may not  be found out until they are tested or in the worst-case scenario, in the event of a fire when they fail to work.

    The most common reasons for fire damper failure are;

    • Blockages or obstructions from debris, broken parts, wires etc.
    • Poor installation.
    • Rust and corrosion.
    • Spring and component failure.
    • Degradation of seals.
    • Broken, faulty or damaged parts.

    Fire damper failure can have disastrous consequences, leading to the spread of smoke and fire throughout the building and into fire safety evacuation corridors which can result in the loss of property or loss of life.

    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 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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