4. What kind of paperwork do I need to show to prove I’ve had them inspected?
fire-damper-reporting-picAfter a thorough and complete inspection of your dampers, code requires that a full, detailed report is produced that lists each damper, whether it passed or failed, and any details on failures or resolution of the failures. According to NFPA 80, section 19.3.4, documentation should include: indication of location of the fire dampers, date of inspection, any deficiencies discovered, among other things. The documentation should also list when and how the deficiencies were corrected, or if any of the dampers were deemed inaccessible. PREVENT always makes sure to provide our customers with an organized and thorough report in a timely manner, as it is usually the first thing an AHJ asks for when they arrive on site for a survey.
5. Why are fire dampers important?
Fire dampers that are functioning properly can prevent the spread of smoke throughout a facility and ultimately save lives in the case of a fire. When smoke is able to travel through a faulty damper to another room, or throughout a building, it can be deadly. As mentioned above, smoke inhalation is responsible for almost 70% of building-related deaths. Stopping or slowing the spread of smoke with the proper barrier management systems, can minimize property damage, allow for safe egress of building occupants, and contribute to the safety of the first responders on scene.
6. When do I have to repair a faulty damper?
NFPA 80, section 19.5.3 states “if the damper is not operable, repairs shall begin without delay.” It can be easiest and quickest to repair fire dampers simultaneously with the inspection. Given the inspectors have all the right tools and parts, repairs can be made as soon as deficiencies are found, saving you time and money by not having to do another sweep of the facility. AHJs appreciate this strategy as well, since repairs are made “without delay.”
7. If a damper is ‘inaccessible,’ it doesn’t need to be inspected, right?
Incorrect. Unfortunately, if your facility has undergone major renovations since first constructed, newly installed ductwork, piping and other construction projects can often block access to originally installed fire and smoke dampers. A damper should never be labeled inaccessible simply because it’s out of reach or unavailable at the time, especially in hospitals. Access doors can be installed and access to patient rooms can be coordinated. However, if these attempts are not enough to reach a fire damper, they must be added to Plans for Improvement (PFI) and filed with the TJC. For more on inaccessible dampers, you can go here.
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 have a track record of accessing hard to reach dampers that other companies have written off as inaccessible. Due to our reputation, many clients contact us for a second look at their dampers after other inspection companies fail to provide a complete inspection. Our reporting is detailed and organized and has been applauded by several AHJ representatives during customer surveys.
We understand the importance of complete and accurate fire damper inspections and reporting, not only in the case of an AHJ survey, but also in the case of a real emergency, and we want to ensure that your facility, employees, and patrons are safe in any instance. Stay up-to-date and get your dampers inspected and tested on time!
Learn more about fire damper inspections
or repair or call 1-877-392-6074
to discuss your facility’s compliance.