Fire and Smoke Damper Inspections
Why are fire and smoke damper inspections required?
How often are fire and smoke damper inspections and testing needed?
Visual inspections must be completed once per year.
Section 184.108.40.206.5 of the NFC states:
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 2021, Basics of Fire and Smoke Damper Installations, https://www.nfpa.org/News-and-Research/Publications-and-media/Blogs-Landing-Page/NFPA-Today/Blog-Posts/2021/08/12/Basics-of-Fire-and-Smoke-Damper-Installations
5) Fire dampers, smoke dampers, combination smoke/fire dampers and fire stop flaps shall be
- a) inspected at intervals not greater than 12 months to ensure that they are in place and not obviously damaged or obstructed, and
- b) tested in accordance with NFPA 80, “Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives.”
To comply with NFPA 80, first, an operational test must be completed after the installation of the fire damper is complete. Then, each fire damper must be tested and inspected one year after the installation. After that one-year mark, fire dampers must then be tested and inspected every four years except for hospitals which have a six-year frequency.
Fire dampers are designed to keep the fire from spreading through the ducting, as well as other types of openings in a building.
Fire Damper - NFPA 80 – Section 19.4
Smoke Damper - NFPA 105 – Section 6.5
How to Prepare for Damper Inspection
1. Confirm Damper Inspection and Testing Due Dates
The NFC requires facilities to have an annual damper inspection and the NFPA requires facilities to have damper testing every 4 years, except healthcare facilities, where inspection is required every 6 years.
However, if the building is new or recently undergone renovations, dampers should be inspected and tested one year after installation.
Knowing when your next inspection and testing is due can help you avoid any citations or penalties.
2. Locate the Damper Service Report from the last Inspection
The Damper inspection report will list how many fire, smoke, and combination dampers are in the facility, and which ones, if any, should have been repaired following the last inspection.
3. Provide Facility Blueprints
Facility blueprints will help the inspection process go quickly without a hitch. Providing these blueprints to the inspector will allow for the job to be completed in a timely manner as it will assist in locating the dampers within the facility.
If blueprints are not available, a floor plan would be beneficial for creating a fire damper template.
4. Schedule Inspection in Advance
Contact us to schedule your damper inspection and testing in advance of the due date to ensure that you remain compliant.
5. Keep your documentation!
NFPA 80 states that documentation shall be maintained for at least three test cycles and made for review by the AHJ (authority having jurisdiction).
Contact our team today to schedule your facility fire and smoke damper inspection!
Open fire damper door
Closed fire damper door
Sample of non-compliant components
Wired was used to replace the fusible link
Painted fusible link
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