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Fire damper cleaning helps save lives

Published 27th November, 2014 by Neil Nixon

Fire damper cleaning helps save lives

Swiftclean Building Services has expanded its portfolio of specialist services with the relaunch of its fire damper expertise in the form of a new service to clients. The company, which has long provided this skilled discipline as part of its ventilation cleaning services, now offers fire damper testing, cleaning and maintenance as a stand-alone service. This helps building owners and managers, proprietors, and facilities and estates managers to comply with another of the many aspects of property management in which compliance is a legal requirement.

Swiftclean tests, cleans and maintains fire dampers in accordance with BS 9999:2008. This gives guidance for the two main types of fire dampers, which help to prevent the spread of fire through heating, ventilation or air conditioning ductwork in fire rated walls, floors and ceilings.

The first type, spring operated fire dampers, must be drop tested, cleaned and maintained at intervals of no greater than 12 months. All other models should be drop tested, cleaned and maintained at least every two years. This is because normal use of the ventilation system naturally leads to the accumulation of contamination on the fire damper where exposed internally within the ductwork system. This must be removed and the fire damper tested regularly to ensure that it operates as designed, as a passive fire barrier slowing spread in line with the regulation, should a fire occur.

“All sizable buildings contain ductwork, and while this helps to provide a healthy indoor atmosphere, it also presents opportunities both for dirt and dust to collect and for fire to spread,” said Gary Nicholls, MD of Swiftclean Building Services. “So it is vital that fire dampers are tested, cleaned and maintained - in a fire our regime of 'test, clean, comply' can save lives. Naturally, we hope that clients will see this as part of the essential need to comply on all ventilation ductwork cleaning, but this element really can be life critical.”

Swiftclean's fire damper services also comply with Health Technical Memorandum (HTM) 03-01: Specialised ventilation for healthcare premises Part B: Operational management and performance verification. This governs fire damper testing and maintenance in healthcare settings and is essential as occupants may be more fragile and have compromised mobility. Swiftclean can also help clients to establish a regular testing interval appropriate to the premises with the local fire prevention officer.

Photo shows: Before and after cleaning.

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