Testing and Maintenance issues Surrounding Motorized Fire Dampers

June 21, 2016 5:44 am Published by

Motorized fire dampers are a type of fire protection device that is installed in air ducts that shuts down in the presence of temperatures that go beyond a predetermined acceptable range. An effective fire damper contains and controls the spread of the fire. Fire dampers have proven themselves to be highly effective, which is why their incorporation into building code has become increasingly popular, resulting in an increased need for sufficient testing and maintenance.

Testing of motorized fire dampers in the UAE involves the removal or melting of the fusible link, thus allowing the damper to close. Once the damper’s operating is demonstrated it is reopened and equipped with a new fusible link. All dampers are tested before the building is leased, with another test scheduled for a year later.

Testing and maintenance of motorized fire dampers can present the following problems to building managers:

1. Fire dampers are usually installed in hard to reach places such as ducts and access to the fire damper itself is not easily accessed. Since ducts are sized by air conditioning companies, the only way in is a small door which is too small for damper related maintenance purposes.

2. Fire dampers can be very difficult to test and reset as the fusible link needs to be replaced after every test. Dynamic fire dampers have been found to test more accurately than static dampers that haven’t shown to shut down despite air pressure and velocity.

3. Fire dampers are many times installed before their testing requirements are analyzed. This negligence makes testing and maintenance harder than it needs to be.

The clear solution that presents itself is to not just use a fire damper that is proven to operate effectively, but also that it is well inspected at installation so the need for maintenance and testing is reduced significantly.

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This post was written by KAD Air Conditioning

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