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The risk assessment

of
fire damper installations

June 2010

Paul White
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.
OVERVIEW
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 THE RISK ASSESSMENT OF FIRE DAMPER INSTALLATIONS


What is this?

FIRE DOORS

Everyone knows what a fire door is and most people see one every day

3 THE RISK ASSESSMENT OF FIRE DAMPER INSTALLATIONS


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 dont know that they exist

4 THE RISK ASSESSMENT OF FIRE DAMPER INSTALLATIONS


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

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Test setup for EN 1366-2

FIRE
DAMPERS
BS EN1366-2

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

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Fire and Leakage Rated Fire Dampers

FIRE
DAMPERS
BS EN 1366-2

Fire damper tests to EN 1366-2 in practice

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Fire Dampers

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
FIRE DAMPERS
Units are mounted in a supporting partition, such that would be
APPLICATION used in practice.
AND TEST
DETAILS 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 m3/hr/m2
I Insulation thermocouples record temperature rise (140/180
C max)
S Leakage rating damper must not leak more than 200
m3/hr/m2, at ambient and during the fire test. The smallest
example must also not leak more than 200 m3/hr/m2

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Fire Damper Standards

Product standard
EN 15650: 2010 Fire dampers
Published (CEN TC156 WG9)
Test standard
EN 1366-2:1999: Fire resistance tests for service installations: Fire dampers
Published, but under review (CEN TC127 WG2 TG4)
Classification standard
FIRE DAMPERS
EN 13501-3:2005: Fire classification of construction products and building
-2 elements - part 3: classification using data from fire resistance tests on
components of normal building service installations
STANDARDS
Published (CEN TC127 WG7)
Extended field of application standard
prEN 15882-2: Extended applications of test results for fire resistance tests
for service installations : Dampers
Under development (CEN TC127 WG2 TG4)

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Regulation - ADB

The following slides give a


snapshot of the requirements
APPROVED
DOCUMENT B in Approved Document B
(1)
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
http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/ -
search on approved
documents

10 THE RISK ASSESSMENT OF FIRE DAMPER INSTALLATIONS


Regulation - ADB

Mechanical ventilation and


air-conditioning systems
APPROVED
DOCUMENT B
Page 60 5.47 Para 2
(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

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Regulation - ADB

Mechanical ventilation and


APPROVED
air-conditioning systems
DOCUMENT B
(3) Page 60 - 5.48 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

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Regulation - ADB

Ventilation ducts, flues etc.


Page 86 - 10.9
APPROVED
DOCUMENT B Where air handling ducts
(5)
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

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Regulation - ADB

Ventilation ducts, flues etc.


APPROVED
Page 86 - 10.10
DOCUMENT B
(6) 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.

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Regulation - ADB

Fire dampers Page 86 -


APPROVED
10.11
DOCUMENT B
(7) 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.

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Regulation - ADB

Fire dampers Page 86 -


APPROVED
10.12
DOCUMENT B
(8) Adequate means of access
should be provided to allow
inspection, testing and
maintenance of both the fire
damper and its actuating
mechanism.

16 THE RISK ASSESSMENT OF FIRE DAMPER INSTALLATIONS


Regulation - ADB

Fire dampers Page 86 -


APPROVED
10.13
DOCUMENT B
(9) 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) ............

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Regulation - ADB

Fire dampers Page 86 -


APPROVED
10.13 cont.
DOCUMENT B
(12) 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 THE RISK ASSESSMENT OF FIRE DAMPER INSTALLATIONS


Regulation - ADB

Fire dampers Page 86 -


APPROVED
10.15
DOCUMENT B
(14) Fire dampers should be
tested to BS EN 1366-2:1999
and be classified to BS EN
13501-3:2005. They should
have an E classification
equal to, or greater than, 60
minutes. Fire and smoke
dampers should also be
tested to BS EN 1366-2:1999
and be classified to BS EN
13501-3:2005. They should
have an ES classification
equal to, or greater than, 60
minutes.

19 THE RISK ASSESSMENT OF FIRE DAMPER INSTALLATIONS


Regulation - ADB

Fire dampers Page 86 -


APPROVED
10.15 Note 1
DOCUMENT B
(15) Note 1: Fire dampers tested
using ad-hoc procedures
based on BS476 may only be
used be appropriate for fan-
off 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 EN1366-2

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Regulation - ADB

ADB refers to a lot of second tier


documents and also references
APPROVED other guides.
DOCUMENT B
(1)
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 5588-12)
ADB also recommends the use
of third party certificated
products

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Other publications - ASFP

ASFP Grey Book


About to be published in
ASFP
its second edition
GREY BOOK 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

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Other publications - HVCA

HVCA DW144
and DW145
HVCA

DW144 &
DW144 is under
DW145 review for its
second edition
For dampers this
is supported by
DW145 which
will be referred
to for damper
installations

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Other publications Dept of Health

HTM 05-02
Written to cover
healthcare premises
DEPARTMENT Describes fire dampers in
OF HEALTH
terms of BS EN 1366-2
HTM 02-05 classified E and ES
(1)
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

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Other publications Dept of Health

HTM 05-02 {cont}


Fire & Smoke dampers in
compartment walls
DEPARTMENT motorised to close on
OF HEALTH
signal
HTM 02-05 Fire & Smoke dampers in
(2)
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

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Other publications Dept of Health

HTM 05-02 {cont}


Installation
requirements are given,
DEPARTMENT
OF HEALTH but unfortunately this
HTM 02-05 does not say use
(3)
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

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Other publications Dept of C S F

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

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Certification standard - LPCB

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.
CERTIFICATION The LPCB visit the factory at
STANDARD 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

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Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order - RRFSO

RRFSO
There is a series of
published guides to meeting
the requirements of the
RRFSO
RRFSO
-1-
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.

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Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order - RRFSO

RRFSO
However, fire dampers are
referred to indirectly as
follows:
RRFSO
1) In a checklist: Are any holes or
-3- 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.

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Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order - RRFSO

RRFSO
Unfortunately, fire dampers
are not referred to in the
RRFSO
maintenance check list
section, which is a key area
-3-
where they should be, or in
the frequency of checking
section, also key.
Therefore we need to turn
to BS9999 for further
guidance

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Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order - RRFSO

BS9999
Annex V (normative): Routine
inspection and maintenance of
fire safety installations
BS9999 This requires smoke control
-1-
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.

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Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order - RRFSO

BS9999
Annex W (normative): Routine
inspection and maintenance of
ventilation and air conditioning
BS9999
ductwork
-2-
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

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Risk assessment

Considerations/Key areas
The positioning of the product
RISK
The application of the product (fire, or fire
ASSESSMENT
and smoke)
-1-

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?

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Risk assessment

Positioning of the product


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?
RISK
Is the fire damper mounted within the wall?
ASSESSMENT The last might be allowed if the duct and the joint with the wall are installed using
a tested method
-2-
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 1366-2, BS 476 cannot confirm the S low leakage
criteria

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Risk assessment

Application are the fans immediately turned


off in the event of a fire incident
Dampers tested ad hoc to BS 476 may be acceptable if the fans are turned
off.
RISK Dampers having an E classification are, however, recommended and must
ASSESSMENT
be used if the fans are left on.
-3- 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 1366-2

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Risk assessment

Maintenance regime
Does this exist for the fire dampers?
Is the responsible person aware of this
RISK
ASSESSMENT requirement?
-4- 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

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Summary

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
SUMMARY
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

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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 THE RISK ASSESSMENT OF FIRE DAMPER INSTALLATIONS


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

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WRONG

WRONG

-3-

41 THE RISK ASSESSMENT OF FIRE DAMPER INSTALLATIONS


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 THE RISK ASSESSMENT OF FIRE DAMPER INSTALLATIONS


The risk assessment of fire
damper installations

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