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Our most frequently asked questions

Welcome to our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page, designed to provide you with quick and comprehensive answers to the most common enquiries about our services. If you can’t find what you need, don’t hesitate to reach out and contact us for further assistance.

What are fire dampers?

As indicated within our service guidelines, fire dampers play a pivotal role in ensuring fire safety within any structure. Their maintenance and verified efficacy in aligning with regulatory standards are of paramount importance.

These essential components, fire dampers, are strategically positioned where ductwork traverses walls and floors. Typically operated through a ‘fusible link,’ as defined by BS9999:2017 as a ‘mechanism designed to trigger the closure of a fire-related element like a fire damper or fire shutter at a predetermined temperature,’ these links activate when exposed to the designated temperature. Once triggered, the link releases and initiates the closure of the fire damper, effectively containing the spread of fire and ultimately contributing to the preservation of lives.

Can I put a fire damper in a kitchen extractor?

Utilisation of fire dampers within the extract system of a commercial kitchen is prohibited, as stated in regulation BS 999:2017 Section

Fire dampers play a pivotal role in upholding compartmentalisation during fire incidents. Compartmentalisation forms the cornerstone of all fire safety strategies, curbing the propagation of fire from one area to another by ensuring that the compartment’s boundaries effectively contain the fire’s progression within a structure.

However, when grease is present, fire dampers become non-functional and provide no safeguard against fire or damage. In the context of a commercial kitchen, compartmentalization is ensured through the implementation of a fire-resistant duct. This duct is fabricated and subjected to testing in accordance with the European Standard EN1366-1 and classified under EN13501-3. This stringent standard guarantees the maintenance of compartmentalisation and fire safety within commercial kitchen environments.

What is required to achieve compliance?

Initiate the process by systematically pinpointing all dampers within your structure. This can be accomplished through a thorough analysis of your schematics, or if necessary, a physical inspection can be conducted.

Given that dampers are strategically distributed throughout your ductwork, it is not only crucial but also mandated by legal standards that they remain easily accessible. In certain cases, the installation of builders’ hatches and access panels might be necessitated. Our expert team is fully equipped to aid in this aspect as an integral component of our comprehensive service package.

To ensure adherence to regulations, it is of paramount importance that all dampers are not only identified but also subjected to meticulous testing.

What's the recommended frequency for testing?

Industry standard BS9999 and BESA VH001 suggest testing fire dampers annually, ensuring compliance with safety measures.

What's the purpose of a fire damper?

Fire dampers serve to close off and restore a firewall in case of a fire on one side of the wall.

Can I personally inspect my dampers?

It is a legal requirement due to the Building Safety Act that a competent and qualified person tests the fire dampers.

What is fire damper testing?

Referring to the BS9999:2017 guidelines, it is mandated that fire dampers undergo testing and maintenance by a skilled professional on a routine basis, with intervals not exceeding one year. In the event of any defects, immediate repair or replacement is imperative. Prior to conducting the testing, a comprehensive risk assessment is conducted, delving into factors such as the placement of dampers, duct dimensions, accessibility limitations, and related inquiries.

Outlined below is an overview of the services our engineers offer when evaluating your fire dampers:

  1. Compilation of a comprehensive inventory detailing all fire dampers slated for testing.
  2. Activation and assessment of manually resettable dampers to evaluate the integrity of spring-loaded shutters. For motorized dampers, the control mode is engaged for evaluation.
  3. Thorough inspection to identify indications of damage, obstructions, or corrosion on the fusible link.
  4. Cleaning of fire and smoke dampers.
  5. Verification of the proper activation and resetting of the fire damper to its accurate position.
  6. Cross-referencing the previous inspection report to ascertain any modifications made or remedial measures executed.
  7. Formulation of a detailed report encompassing various aspects, including but not limited to:
    • Test outcomes coupled with particulars about the client, edifice, system, date, and technician’s name.
    • Maintenance record featuring damper location and identification number.
    • Determination of complete or partial accessibility of the damper and potential recommendations for remedial action.
What is the fire compartment?

Within your structure, multiple fire compartments have been established with the primary purpose of halting the dissemination of both smoke and fire. Each compartment boasts a designated capacity to confine smoke and fire for a specific duration, a characteristic known as the fire rating.

In most cases, these compartments encompass entire building floors. However, within more expansive edifices and purpose-built establishments like hotels, a compartment can be as compact as an individual room.

What is involved in your reporting?

Our dedicated team has engineered an exceptional fire damper inspection and testing reporting system that stands at the forefront of the industry. This platform has been meticulously crafted to align with the stringent benchmarks delineated in BESA Technical Bulletin VH001.

While conventional reporting typically furnishes you with a mere rundown of pinpointed problems, our reporting system elevates the experience. We go the extra mile by offering you an all-encompassing dossier detailing the examination of all tested dampers. This includes a comprehensive array of photographic evidence captured prior to, during, and post-testing phases.

Should any issues come to light, we not only provide supplementary photographs but also furnish you with expert guidance on rectification measures, complete with meticulously outlined cost estimates.

Where can fire dampers be found?

Typically, fire dampers are situated within the ductwork that penetrates fire-resisting walls.

How much does fire damper testing usually cost?

Costs vary based on factors like access and available information. Transparent per damper costs are provided when quantity is known. For initial investigations, a day rate might apply for locating dampers with limited data.

What accreditations are necessary for inspections?

Holding accreditation from a notable trade body (e.g., Building and Engineering Services Association), coupled with specialised training and fire safety qualifications, showcases a servicing company’s high level of competency.