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Fire damper testing, cleaning and maintenance saves lives

Fire dampers are vital, passive fire protection components used in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems to prevent the spread of fire inside the ductwork. In the event of a rise in temperature, the fire damper closes, usually activated by a thermal link. This melts at temperatures higher than ambient but low enough to indicate the presence of a fire, allowing springs to close the damper blades.

As they remain in an open position most, if not all of the time, it is vital to ensure that they will still close quickly and effectively when required. By providing a barrier beyond which the fire cannot pass, effective fire dampers save lives; so regular fire damper testing, known as drop testing, as well as fire damper cleaning and maintenance is both a legal requirement and a critical part of building fire safety management.

BS9999:2008 provides the following guidance that states “Arrangements should be made for all fire dampers to be tested by a competent person on completion of installation and at regular intervals not exceeding 2 years, and to be repaired or replaced immediately if found to be faulty. Spring operated fire dampers should be tested annually and fire dampers situated in dust laden and similar atmospheres should be tested much more frequently, at periods to suit the degree of pollution.”

This is because normal use of the ventilation system gathers an accumulation of contamination on the fire damper and its operational parts. This must be removed and the fire damper tested regularly to ensure that it operates as designed should a fire occur. In a healthcare setting, additional care is needed, so Carb'n-Off also complies with Health Technical Memorandum (HTM) 03-01: Specialised ventilation for healthcare premises Part B: Operational management and performance verification.

Carb'n-Off will perform a fire damper inspection and drop test on all fire dampers, subject to access, and advise on any remedial work that needs to be completed to ensure that the fire integrity of the ductwork system is not compromised.


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"Carb’n Off have managed the contract for the cleaning of our numerous oven extract and ventilation systems for over a decade now. We are always impressed by the conduct of their operatives on site and the pragmatic approach taken to completing the work. It’s also reassuring and really helpful that we always have the same team attending. The flexibility of schedules to suit our production requirements, together with comprehensive paperwork including detailed post-clean reports and certificates that we receive from Carb’n Off management add to an already efficient and reliable service."

Pork Farms Group