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Testing and Inspection Requirements for Fire Dampers

Posted on: April 4, 2013

NFPA 80 provides requirements for the installation, inspection, testing, and maintenance of fire doors and other protective structures, including fire windows, glass block assemblies, fabric fire safety curtains, and fire dampers. One of the most common questions people have is how often they need these things inspected and tested.

How often should fire dampers be tested?

An operational test must be completed once the fire damper is installed. Each fire damper must be tested and inspected one year after the installation. After you hit the one year mark, your fire dampers must then be tested and inspected every four years—except for hospitals, which have a six-year frequency.

You may be wondering: why the difference in the testing and inspection frequency between hospitals and other buildings? If anything, shouldn’t they be tested MORE frequently in hospitals?

Most users expect provisions related to hospitals to be more restrictive than for other types of buildings. However, the healthcare industry presented the technical committee with significant evidence that a four-year inspection frequency for fire dampers in hospitals is a hindrance. Hospitals are unique in that they have many building systems critical to the life safety and health of their patients, and accessing fire dampers every four years could present the risk of interfering with or potentially damaging many of the other systems (HVAC, medical gas systems, sprinkler piping, electrical systems, etc.) located near the fire dampers and above the ceilings. The six-year frequency allows for a reasonable but safe length of time between inspections and also ensures the integrity of the hospital operations.

If you need fire damper inspection in New Jersey, Delaware, or Philadelphia, call Confires today!

NFPA 80 provides requirements for the installation, inspection, testing, and maintenance of fire doors and other protective structures, including fire windows, glass block assemblies, fabric fire safety curtains, and fire dampers. One of the most common questions people have is how often they need these things inspected and tested.

How often should fire dampers be tested?

An operational test must be completed once the fire damper is installed. Each fire damper must be tested and inspected one year after the installation. After you hit the one year mark, your fire dampers must then be tested and inspected every four years—except for hospitals, which have a six-year frequency.

You may be wondering: why the difference in the testing and inspection frequency between hospitals and other buildings? If anything, shouldn’t they be tested MORE frequently in hospitals?

Most users expect provisions related to hospitals to be more restrictive than for other types of buildings. However, the healthcare industry presented the technical committee with significant evidence that a four-year inspection frequency for fire dampers in hospitals is a hindrance. Hospitals are unique in that they have many building systems critical to the life safety and health of their patients, and accessing fire dampers every four years could present the risk of interfering with or potentially damaging many of the other systems (HVAC, medical gas systems, sprinkler piping, electrical systems, etc.) located near the fire dampers and above the ceilings. The six-year frequency allows for a reasonable but safe length of time between inspections and also ensures the integrity of the hospital operations.

If you need fire damper inspection in New Jersey, Delaware, or Philadelphia, call Confires today!

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