Time for a Refresh on Fire Safety & Prevention

Fire Prevention Week is October 3-9 this year. With that being said, when was the last time your customer’s fire and smoke damper actuators were inspected? (If you or your customer just had to pause and think hard about that question…it’s time for an inspection!)

OSHA states that “The employer shall ensure that all supervised employee alarm systems are tested at least annually for reliability and adequacy.” Meanwhile, the National Fire and Protection Code and Standards state that the requirement for testing fire and smoke systems and dampers is one year after installation and then once every four years after that. Hospitals, however, are required to inspect every six years. (Reference NFPA 80, NFPA 90A, and NFPA 105 for further information.)

Now if you’re thinking to yourself that fire and smoke dampers actuators are a pain to get to, well…we agree. So to help ease some of the pressure for the task you’re about to undertake, here is how our techs suggest going about inspection:

1. Ensure unobstructed access to the damper.

2. Test the damper for correct airflow. Then, verify that it opens by following either Option 1 or Option 2. (There should be no interference due to rust, damaged frame or blades, or other moving parts.)

OPTION 1-Dampers with position indication wired to indication lights or control panels:

  • Use the signal from the damper’s position indication device to confirm that the damper is in the fully open position. (Switches can be wired to local or remote-control panels and/or BAS to indicate that the damper is in the fully open position, fully closed position or neither.)
  • Remove electrical power or air pressure from the actuator to allow the actuator’s spring return feature to close the damper.
  • Use the signal from the damper’s position indication device to confirm that the damper reaches its fully closed position.
  • Return electrical power to re-open the damper.
  • Use the signal from the damper’s position indication device to confirm the damper reaches its fully open position.

OPTION 2-Dampers without position indication:

  • Visually confirm that the damper is in the fully open position.
  • Ensure that all obstructions (especially hands!) are out of the path of the damper blades.
  • Remove electrical power or air pressure from the actuator to allow the actuator’s spring return feature to close the damper.
  • Visually confirm that the damper closes completely.
  • Return electrical power to re-open the damper.
  • Visually confirm that the damper is in the fully open position.

3. If the damper is not operable, then it’s time for repairs. If the actuator has failed, replace it with a UL-approved actuator. After these repairs, the damper should be tested again.

4. If there is a latch, verify that it is operable.

5. Perform any other damper manufacture-recommended maintenance.

6. Following the test and any repairs document the location of the damper, the date, the inspector, and deficiencies or repairs. Keep the record for the life of the damper and have it available as you may need to show it to an inspector.

Call or shop now on kele.com for all your fire safety and prevention needs—Kele’s got you covered!

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