6 easy steps to a successful fire damper inspection

Is it time for your fire damper inspection again? Sometimes it can be difficult to figure out where to start if you haven’t done one in a while. To help you out, we’ve provided some simple steps to help get you on track and ensure your damper inspection is compliant and thorough.

1. Know Your Timeline
Knowing when your facility is due for another inspection can help you avoid any citations or penalties from an AHJ. All commercial buildings are required to do a damper inspection every 4 years, except for hospitals which should have inspections every 6 years. If your building is new or you’ve undergone renovations recently, dampers should also be inspected one year after installation. Delaying your next inspection could result in a penalty from AHJ.

2. Find Your Last Report
Having your previous report handy will help speed up the process of the inspection. Your previous report will show how many fire, smoke, and combination fire/smoke dampers are in your facility, and which ones, if any, needed repairs following the last inspection. This will give you an idea of how long the inspection will last and which dampers have been updated. It should also indicate those that were harder to reach or inaccessible, which may take some extra time and effort to ensure they inspected tested properly.

3. Secure Life Safety Maps
Life safety maps of your facility will make the inspection quicker and smoother. Without maps, it can take unnecessary hours to find and test each damper. When maps are available, the person conducting the inspection knows exactly where to look and can finish the job in a timely manner. Without life safety maps, one can spend a considerable amount of time attempting to pinpoint where the dampers are located. This could also contribute to the risk of missing one.

4. Schedule Your Inspection
Make sure to schedule your fire damper inspection in advance. Having a set date and setting time out of your schedule will ensure that no other projects get in the way of completing your inspection. Some outside contractors, specifically PREVENT, can typically start projects in a few days, which is especially convenient if you’re getting close to your deadline for inspection.

5. Schedule Repairs

If you find any dampers that are not functioning properly, make sure to repair them without delay. According to NFPA 80, repairs to any faulty damper should commence as soon as possible. Often times, contractors have replacement parts on hand and are able to make repairs to the dampers as they inspect them. This saves your facility time and money by having the repairs done at once, rather than schedule a follow-up appointment for repairs.

6. Prepare Code-Required Documentation
Proper documentation is very important after a damper inspection is completed. Documentation should be detailed and include the date of inspection, how many dampers were inspected, if any repairs were made during inspection, and much more. This documentation is your proof that your facility has had a proper and timely inspection and is fixing (or fixed) any repairs as needed. Without this on hand, your facility could be cited by an AHJ, even if all of your dampers have passed. Make sure the contractor you’ve hired responds with a very thorough report that is easy to follow.

PREVENT Life Safety’s team of professional and expert fire damper technicians can help you with quick and thorough inspections of your fire dampers, smoke dampers, and fire/smoke dampers. Our technicians also have a track record of accessing hard-to-reach dampers that other companies have written off as inaccessible. We have also received applause on our detailed and organized reporting by several AHJ representatives during customer surveys.

If your facility is coming up on a damper inspection deadline, give us a call at 877-392-6074 or request a free quote. Keep your facility code-compliant, and get your facilities inspected and tested on time!

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