In the event of a fire there is an essential part of your ventilation system that needs to be in a working and operational state: fire dampers. These integral elements of your system stop the transfer of smoke and flame through the ventilation ductwork.
How does a Fire Damper work?
A fire damper creates a fire resistant block in the ventilation ductwork. In a normal environment the fire damper is in an open state, however this will change to a closed state if a fire or significant rise in temperature is detected. Once the damper is closed it prevents air moving through that section of ductwork. This prevents the spread of flame and smoke. It can also stem the flow of oxygen that is potentially feeding the fire.
There are a number of ways in which a fire damper can be triggered. This ranges from a fusible link that melts through to an instruction from the BMS (Building Management System) or fire alarm panel.
What is a ‘Drop Test’?
A ‘Drop Test’ is the generic term used for the testing of any fire damper. It is essential that your fire dampers are in good working order. If they are not working they compromise the whole buildings fire protection system.
In order to carry out a ‘drop test’ on your ventilation system, we first need to locate and access all fire dampers. Once a fire damper has been located we will perform an inspection, test the damper and clean if necessary. We will record the state of the fire damper which will be included in the report produced on the completion of a full system test.
The report will provide you with an accurate record of the state of your system. It will highlight any problems that were found and how to remedy the issue.
How often do I need to carry out Drop Testing?
The recently updated code of practise BS 9999:2017 (Fire safety in the design, management and use of buildings) recommends that all fire dampers need to be drop tested and maintained annually.
We can help you put the guidelines into practise.