Fire dampers are installed on buildings to prevent the spread of fire through the air ducts, where they penetrate fire barriers or are used as “transfer fire damper” without ducts from one or both sides. In most escape routes and other areas, the fire dampers operate by a suitable fire detection system, which will trigger the closing mechanism.
Such performance of dampers has to be proven by suitable testing standards.
The development of the testing standards of EN 1366 – Fire resistance tests for service installations provides a set of standardised tests for relevant applications of fire and fire/smoke dampers.
Depending on the intended application, dampers can be tested and installed within the fire barrier, on the surface of the fire barrier, or remotely from the fire barrier.
EN 1366 tests are designed to assess the ability of a fire damper to withstand the passage of fire and heat (Integrity – E, insulation - I) when exposed to underpressure (to simulate the actual condition inside the ducts where such pressure exists within pressurised or ventilation systems)
The fire dampers tested as per EN 1366-2 can also assess leakage criteria (S), which provides evidence for the fire damper that prevents the passage of smoke and gases at ambient and high temperatures between compartments if required. However, the Smoke control dampers used in smoke control systems shall be tested to EN 1366-10 to confirm the ability of the smoke damper to maintain an open position when they control smoke extraction through the smoke ducts or other performances stated in the standard.
EN 1366-2 includes the direct field of application, which allows changing some factors or material based on the test without additional assessment. In case of additional needs of manufacturers, we can use EN 15882-2:2022 (Extended application of results from fire resistance tests for service installations - Part 2: Fire dampers) to extend the application of fire dampers.
A combination of those standards will reduce the number of tests to cover the broader scope of the application. All are based on standardised procedures described by the International Standards.
The rating will reflect the damper’s performance, and it is denoted with the combination of the letters and numbers: ex: EI 120S (damper that has been tested for integrity and insulation leakage and has fulfilled requirements for two hours during the fire test)
Some of the basic criteria to keep in my mind while installing the fire dampers on-site:
• Before installation of the dampers, its important to check if there are no physical damage or missing components.
• Dampers must install following the classification report and certificate issued by the third-party certifier (based on all test reports and EXAP reports)
• Ensure all the accessories are tightly fixed and operating smoothly.
• Installation shall meet the design specification and limitation mentioned in the third-party certificate.
• Having a third-party label on the product that describes the product information, standard tested, and fire rating achieved.