Stop the spread

Ever heard of fire dampers? Probably not as they live hidden in the ceilings and ductwork of buildings. Everybody knows what a fire door looks like but probably wouldn’t know a fire damper if they fell over one! These are very clever devices that are designed to be installed in buildings to prevent the spread of fire through walls, partitions and floors. They have a duct or ventilation opening which operates automatically when fire is detected. Where a building has heating, ventilation and air conditioning, these dampers are employed and will close automatically in the event of a fire breaking out. A thermal detection device will melt and this triggers the closure.

Stop the spread

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When a new building is designed it is essential that effective fire damping systems penetrate properly and are properly sealed. The systems should be easily accessible to enable regular checking and testing. While most employers are great at conducting regular fire drills and fire alarms, many overlook the testing of the dampers that are installed in the building’s ducting.

Dampers are incredibly important as they help to save lives and greatly reduce the cost of fire damage. A company can be fined for not testing the system or could face two years in prison and the industry advice is that you should have them tested every two years. Sprint-operated dampers will need to be tested annually to meet regulation requirements. Only experts can do these tests as it’s too risky to leave it to any other contractor. For Ductwork fire damper, visit http://www.dustspares.co.uk/Butterfly-Damper.html

Dampers need to be able to tested to ensure their integrity, insulation and reduced leakage. The dampers will be cleaned and lubricated and then put to the test. If there is a fire and you have not had them tested then you may also have difficulties claiming for any damage from the insurance company.

Dampers may not be glamorous but they are vital. Ductwork and ventilation systems can easily pass smoke and flames throughout a building with frightening speed unless there is something in place to stop that. For public buildings, such as hospitals, fire dampers must be checked every year as they are busy places with many people staying in them. There are also combined fire and smoke dampers where the device will close on the detection of smoke and not just heat. Remember the difference between a well-maintained fire damper and a neglected one can be the difference between life and death.

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