Smoke Vent & Damper Systems


Smoke Ventilation Systems

Smoke ventilation systems, or smoke control systems, or automatic opening vents (AOVs) are installed to protect people and property, making them a vital part of a buildings fire safety strategy. Their designs can vary but their job is always to vent smoke, fumes and heat out of a building during a fire. They are placed on roofs and wall spaces and are triggered to work by heat and/or smoke detectors activating in the event of a fire in a building, whereby the smoke vents open automatically, allowing smoke and fumes to escape and bring fresh air into the building. This helps create smoke free zones, in common areas of the building such as corridors and stairwells, which assists with the safe evacuation of persons from the premises. They also aid in preventing a build-up of heat in the building which helps to maintain its structural integrity.

With such an important role to play in the fire strategy of a building, the need to maintain them correctly is of utmost importance to help keep a building and its occupants safe. Through our specialist contractor we can provide you with inspection and testing of smoke vent systems in accordance with BS 7346:8 (Components for smoke control systems. Code of practice for planning, design, installation, commissioning, and maintenance) and BS 9999 (Fire safety in the design, management and use of buildings. Code of practice). Rope access solutions are available for smoke vents in difficult/inaccessible high-level locations.

Fire Dampers

As with smoke ventilation systems, fire (and smoke) dampers play an important role in the fire safety of a building as they are designed to prevent a fire from being able to spread through a building’s ductwork and affect other areas. The technical definition of a damper is a “mechanical device that is operated automatically or manually and is designed to prevent the passage of fire and which, together with its frame, is capable of meeting for a stated period of time the fire resistance criterion for integrity” BS 9999 states “…any grille or opening through the enclosure for ventilation purposes should be protected by a fire damper.” Dampers can be operated by way of a fusible link (manually), when the link meets high heat, it melts and causes the damper to close and stop the spread of fire. Automatic operation is another way in which a damper can be deployed, which is when the damper receives an electronic signal from a building’s fire alarm system instructing it to close.

As dampers are vital to a building’s fire safety, we can provide you with inspection and testing of fire dampers systems in accordance with BS 9999 (Fire safety in the design, management and use of buildings. Code of practice), with the assistance of our specialist contractor. All fire dampers should be tested by a competent person after installation and then at annual intervals. Some fire dampers should be subject to more frequent testing, such as those located in dust-laden and similar atmospheres, or those in hospitals or high-risk environments.

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