Fire damper checks, maintenance & installation

The British Standard 9999 Code of Practice for Fire Safety in the Design, Management & Use of Buildings requires all ducting, whether it is for ventilation, heating or air conditioning to be fitted with fire dampers

Fire dampers are designed to prevent a fire from being able to spread through the ductwork to other areas of a building. Most of these mechanical devices have a fusible link, which is defined by BS 99999 as a ‘device that releases a component such as a fire damper or fire shutter at a set  All ductwork should be fitted with fire dampers that have been tested upon installation.

BS 9999 fire damper maintenance legislationThe BS 9999 legislation on fire damper maintenance states that all fire dampers must be tested by a competed person after they have been installed and at regular intervals not exceeding two years. If you have had spring-operated fire dampers installed in your ducting, then you will need to have these tested at least every 12 months or even more frequently if they are installed in an area that is affected by high levels of dust or pollution. 

According to the BS 9999 fire damper legislation, you must ensure that your fire dampers are repaired or replaced immediately if found to be faulty. It is highly recommended that you create a maintenance plan to help you budget and schedule repairs, ensuring your fire dampers remain in a fully working condition.

Whose responsibility is fire damper maintenance?
According to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, it is the employer’s responsibility to maintain their fire safety systems. If you run a business or own a building it is your responsibility to book regular fire damper tests and ensures that a proper maintenance plan is followed.

When should fire dampers be tested?

In order to comply with the British Standard BS 9999 (which covers routine inspection and maintenance of ventilation and air conditioning ductwork) you need to ensure that your fire dampers are tested upon installation. Following that, your fire dampers will need to be tested at least every two years.

If you fail to meet the requirements of the RRO or BS 9999 then you could be fined up to ten thousand pounds. The employer or building owner (who according to RRO is responsible for testing and maintaining fire safety equipment) could also face two years in prison.

You will also struggle to claim for fire damage on your insurance unless you can provide reports which proof you have had your fire dampers tested and maintained.