The risk assessment of fire damper installations

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1 The risk assessment of fire damper installations June 2010 Paul White

2 OVERVIEW OVERVIEW The purpose of this presentation is to highlight that fire dampers form a key part of the passive fire protection within a building, but are at best often overlooked, but at worst not even recognised for the job that they might be called on to do in the event of fire. It seeks to clarify the regulatory requirements and fill in the gaps left by the guides to the RRFSO where fire dampers are installed in a building 2

3 What is this? FIRE DOORS Everyone knows what a fire door is and most people see one every day 3

4 What is this? FIRE DAMPERS This is a fire damper and they are generally hidden above ceilings and mounted in a ductwork run, most people don t know that they exist 4

5 Ad hoc testing to BS476-20/22 FIRE DAMPERS BS476-20/22 This shows a fire damper during the old style of ad hoc testing to BS 476 5

6 Test setup for EN FIRE DAMPERS BS EN The fire damper is subjected to a 300pa pressure difference for the whole of the test and the leakage recorded as a pass failure criteria 6

7 Fire and Leakage Rated Fire Dampers FIRE DAMPERS BS EN Fire damper tests to EN in practice 7

8 Fire Dampers FIRE DAMPERS APPLICATION AND TEST DETAILS Application and test details For use in normal ventilation ducts at fire boundaries to maintain compartmentation in the case of fire Generally tested for Integrity (E), Insulation (I) (if required) and Reduced Leakage (S) (again, if required) Also considered are horizontal, vertical, fire from inside to outside, fire from outside to inside, symmetry etc Units are mounted in a supporting partition, such that would be used in practice. During the test, the damper must close, and is then subjected to a 300Pa pressure differential. E Integrity damper must not leak more than 360 m 3 /hr/m 2 I Insulation thermocouples record temperature rise (140/180 C max) S Leakage rating damper must not leak more than 200 m 3 /hr/m 2, at ambient and during the fire test. The smallest example must also not leak more than 200 m 3 /hr/m 2 8

9 Fire Damper Standards FIRE DAMPERS -2 STANDARDS Product standard EN 15650: 2010 Fire dampers Published (CEN TC156 WG9) Test standard EN :1999: Fire resistance tests for service installations: Fire dampers Published, but under review (CEN TC127 WG2 TG4) Classification standard EN :2005: Fire classification of construction products and building elements - part 3: classification using data from fire resistance tests on components of normal building service installations Published (CEN TC127 WG7) Extended field of application standard pren : Extended applications of test results for fire resistance tests for service installations : Dampers Under development (CEN TC127 WG2 TG4) 9

10 Regulation - ADB APPROVED DOCUMENT B (1) The following slides give a snapshot of the requirements in Approved Document B It is strongly recommended that anyone making risk assessments carefully considers the requirements in this document and does not rely purely on the information given here It is available as a free download from - search on approved documents 10

11 Regulation - ADB APPROVED DOCUMENT B (2) Mechanical ventilation and air-conditioning systems Page Para 2 Where the ductwork system serves more than one part of a sub-divided escape route, a fire damper should be provided where the duct work enters each section of the escape route operated by a smoke detector or suitable fire detection system. The fire dampers should close when smoke is detected 11

12 Regulation - ADB APPROVED DOCUMENT B (3) Mechanical ventilation and air-conditioning systems Page Note Fire dampers activated only by fusible links are not suitable for protecting escape routes. However an ES classified fire and smoke damper which is activated by a suitable fire protection system may be used 12

13 Regulation - ADB APPROVED DOCUMENT B (5) Ventilation ducts, flues etc. Page Where air handling ducts pass through fire separating elements the integrity of those elements should be maintained There are 3 basic methods and these are: Method 1: protection using fire dampers; Method 2: protection using fire resistant enclosures; Method 3: protection using fire-resisting ductwork 13

14 Regulation - ADB APPROVED DOCUMENT B (6) Ventilation ducts, flues etc. Page Method 1 (e.g. Dampers) is not suitable for extract ductwork serving kitchens. This is due to the likely build up of grease which can adversely affect the effectiveness of any dampers. 14

15 Regulation - ADB APPROVED DOCUMENT B (7) Fire dampers Page Fire damper should be situated within the thickness of the fire separating element and be securely fixed. It is also necessary to ensure that, in a fire, expansion of the ductwork would not push the fire damper through the structure. 15

16 Regulation - ADB APPROVED DOCUMENT B (8) Fire dampers Page Adequate means of access should be provided to allow inspection, testing and maintenance of both the fire damper and its actuating mechanism. 16

17 Regulation - ADB APPROVED DOCUMENT B (9) Fire dampers Page Where the use of the building involves sleeping risk, such as an hotel or residential care home, fire dampers should be actuated by smoke detector-controlled automatic release mechanism, in addition to being actuated by thermally actuated devices... (caveats on certain types of alarm systems and abilities of people to leave the area)... 17

18 Regulation - ADB APPROVED DOCUMENT B (12) Fire dampers Page cont. Note: Fire dampers actuated only by fusible links are not suitable for protecting escape routes. However, an ES classified fire and smoke damper which is activated by a suitable fire detection system may be used 18

19 Regulation - ADB APPROVED DOCUMENT B (14) Fire dampers Page Fire dampers should be tested to BS EN :1999 and be classified to BS EN :2005. They should have an E classification equal to, or greater than, 60 minutes. Fire and smoke dampers should also be tested to BS EN :1999 and be classified to BS EN :2005. They should have an ES classification equal to, or greater than, 60 minutes. 19

20 Regulation - ADB APPROVED DOCUMENT B (15) Fire dampers Page Note 1 Note 1: Fire dampers tested using ad-hoc procedures based on BS476 may only be used be appropriate for fanoff situations. In all cases, fire dampers should be installed as tested. PW Note: You cannot get an E or ES classification if you test to BS476, so dampers for sleeping risk areas and escape routes need to be tested to EN

21 Regulation - ADB APPROVED DOCUMENT B (1) ADB refers to a lot of second tier documents and also references other guides. This BS5588 series is referred to and is still apparently valid, although effectively withdrawn. The department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) still says that it contains good and safe information. It is replaced by BS 9999 and this where we get some clear guidance on maintenance requirements (ex BS ) ADB also recommends the use of third party certificated products 21

22 Other publications - ASFP ASFP GREY BOOK ASFP Grey Book About to be published in its second edition Contains details of regulation, standards testing etc Also gives some guidance on project planning and installation It is planned that it will list certificated products with approved installation methods Also has sister documents about fire rated dusts, structural steel protection and fire seals 22

23 Other publications - HVCA HVCA DW144 & DW145 HVCA DW144 and DW145 DW144 is under review for its second edition For dampers this is supported by DW145 which will be referred to for damper installations 23

24 Other publications Dept of Health HTM DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH HTM (1) 24 Written to cover healthcare premises Describes fire dampers in terms of BS EN classified E and ES Fire and smoke dampers classifed ES Transfer grilles should be fitted with fire and smoke dampers Where walls do not pass the ceiling, ducts through the ceiling should be protected with fire dampers

25 Other publications Dept of Health HTM {cont} DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH HTM (2) Fire & Smoke dampers in compartment walls motorised to close on signal Fire & Smoke dampers in sub compartment walls link only PW Note: motorised would probably be better for regular testing Ducting serving fire hazard rooms should be protected with dampers, or if duct is passing through, no dampers, but fire resisting duct 25

26 Other publications Dept of Health HTM {cont} DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH HTM (3) 26 Installation requirements are given, but unfortunately this does not say use manufacturers instructions, rather what not to do, also a requirement for ceilings It requires details of all dampers to be included in the fire strategy and drawings for complex buildings

27 Other publications Dept of C S F BB100 DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN, SCHOOLS & FAMILIES BB Generally as ADB References the ASFP Grey Book Product certification for property protection fire dampers should also satisfy LPS1162 It requires details of all dampers to be included in the fire strategy and drawings for complex buildings

28 Certification standard - LPCB CERTIFICATION STANDARD 28 The LPCB run a certification scheme for fire dampers. The LPS 1162 document contains all the tests that LPC require the product to undergo, before certification may be offered It also states that to meet it, a company must have full BS EN ISO 9001 accreditation. The LPCB visit the factory at least once a year to confirm by measurement that the certificated products maintain all the tested dimensions, and confirm that the products still comply with any assessments that may have been made

29 Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order - RRFSO RRFSO RRFSO -1- There is a series of published guides to meeting the requirements of the RRFSO Information on fire dampers is vague, but is generally as follows: 1) laundry chutes (smoke and fire dampers) 2) dampers in ducts should be correctly installed 3) the fact that in cooking processes ventilation ducts and dampers should be considered. 29

30 Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order - RRFSO RRFSO However, fire dampers are referred to indirectly as follows: RRFSO ) In a checklist: Are any holes or gaps in walls, ceilings and floors properly sealed, e.g. where services such as ventilation ducts and electrical cables pass through them? 2) Ventilation systems: Where ventilation systems might assist the spread of flames, smoke and hot gases from a fire it will be necessary to take steps to safe guard the means of escape against this hazard.

31 Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order - RRFSO RRFSO RRFSO Unfortunately, fire dampers are not referred to in the maintenance check list section, which is a key area where they should be, or in the frequency of checking section, also key. Therefore we need to turn to BS9999 for further guidance

32 Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order - RRFSO BS9999 BS Annex V (normative): Routine inspection and maintenance of fire safety installations This requires smoke control systems and their components to be tested as often as weekly, however it is not clear what constitute smoke dampers. This could possibly refer to dampers that are used to protect escape routes and areas with sleeping risk. This should be considered by the designer and perhaps the risk assessor.

33 Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order - RRFSO BS9999 BS Annex W (normative): Routine inspection and maintenance of ventilation and air conditioning ductwork This requires simple fire dampers (spring operated so probably curtain fire dampers) to be tested every two years or more often if conditions are such that they get dirty quicker. Both annexes should be looked at in their entirety before drawing any conclusions, and consideration given to the rest of the document

34 Risk assessment Considerations/Key areas RISK ASSESSMENT The positioning of the product The application of the product (fire, or fire and smoke) The supporting construction into which the damper is fitted What testing has been undertaken? What assessment information is available? What maintenance regimes are in place?

35 Risk assessment Positioning of the product RISK ASSESSMENT -2- Is it known where all the fire, and fire and smoke, dampers are installed schedule and drawing Is there clear access, both outside and inside for cleaning and maintenance Are there any gaps around the damper between it and the supporting construction? Is the fire damper mounted within the wall? The last might be allowed if the duct and the joint with the wall are installed using a tested method Application escape route or area with sleeping risk Does the fire damper have an ES classification (or equivalency through assessment) when mounted in the supporting construction being used e.g. masonry, dry wall, batt, other fire stopping etc? Has the damper been installed to the manufacturers instructions or at least to the documented satisfaction of the BCA? Note to get an ES classification, the damper must have been tested (or assessed for equivalency) to BS EN , BS 476 cannot confirm the S low leakage criteria 35

36 Risk assessment Application are the fans immediately turned off in the event of a fire incident RISK ASSESSMENT Dampers tested ad hoc to BS 476 may be acceptable if the fans are turned off. Dampers having an E classification are, however, recommended and must be used if the fans are left on. If the fans are left on, curtain fire dampers are not recommended as they may be held open by residual airflow Does the fire damper have an E classification (or equivalency through assessment) when mounted in the supporting construction being used e.g. masonry, dry wall, batt, other fire stopping etc? Has the damper been installed to the manufacturers instructions or at least to the documented satisfaction of the BCA? Note to get an E classification, the damper must have been tested (or assessed for equivalency) to BS EN

37 Risk assessment Maintenance regime RISK ASSESSMENT Does this exist for the fire dampers? Is the responsible person aware of this requirement? Do adequate records of testing and inspection exist? Do the records note any and all remedial action to the fire damper and to the seal between it and the supporting construction Refer to Annex V and Annex W of BS9999

38 Summary SUMMARY 38 The requirements for the risk assessment of fire dampers are not clear from the RRFSO However, through reference to ADB and BS9999, a clear path can be drawn Additional help is given in the ASFP Grey Book and HVCA DW145 There must be clear records of where dampers are positioned, that they are installed correctly and that they are maintained correctly, including the state of any seal around the damper at the interface between it and the supporting construction

39 WRONG WRONG -1- The damper is not in the plane of the wall and the duct is not protected. Has the damper been tested in association with batt? If fire resisting, is the duct supported around its outside at its joint with the wall 39

40 WRONG WRONG -2- The dampers are not in the plane of the wall, the duct is not protected and it is unlikely that the dampers have been tested passing through a hole in a steel beam 40

41 WRONG WRONG -3-! 41

42 RIGHT RIGHT -1- The damper is within the plane of the wall, the installation is complete and without any damage to the seal around the damper. Note: However, it needs to be checked that damper has been tested in a batt installation, especially for ES requirements 42

43 The risk assessment of fire damper installations THANK YOU FOR LISTENING

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