Fire and smoke dampers work together with the other elements of your fire protection system to compartmentalize smoke in the face of a fire. All fire and smoke dampers in your facility need to be maintained according to NFPA 80 & 105. As a facility manager you may have had lots of experience discovering and repairing faulty fire and smoke dampers in your facility. Think you know a non-compliant fire/smoke damper when you see one? Test your knowledge by identifying why these fire dampers are not up to code:
A. The wooden block is preventing the damper from being able to close. Dampers are meant to close in the face of a fire to prevent smoke from spreading into adjacent areas. NFPA 80 – 33 19.4.7 mandates, “The damper shall be verified not to be blocked from closure in any way.”
B. A pair of pliers is holding the damper open. Many times, people place objects in dampers or lodge them open with the intention of improving airflow. Little do they know, they are actually disabling the damper to work as it’s intended to! NFPA 80 – 33 19.4.6 mandates, “The damper frame shall not be penetrated by any foreign objects that would affect proper fire damper operations”
C. Rusty blades affect the movement of the damper, and can hinder it from performing correctly in the face of a fire. NFPA 80 – 33 19.4.5 mandates, “The operation of the damper shall verify that there is no damper interference due to rust or bent, misaligned, or damaged frame or blades; no defective hinges or other moving parts.”
D. This is another example of objects obstructing the passageway of the damper. Cables and piping should not be run through the ductwork. NFPA 80 – 33. 19.4.6
E. A standard fire/smoke damper should be in the open position. Most dampers normally stay in the open position and only close in the face of a fire. Closed dampers are usually considered a failure in terms of inspections.
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