As a property or building owner, it is essential that you take charge of the fire safety systems in your premises. Understanding the right fire protection system to install in your building and consistently maintaining them is paramount especially in times of emergency. It is essential for you to seek professionals with regards to these systems in order to ensure that the fire safety equipment used in your building abides to the rules set by the Singapore Civil Defence Force(SCDF). One such equipment to consider is a fire smoke damper that can save you crucial time for escaping should an emergency arise.
What is a Fire Damper?
This device is installed in the area where the building’s ductworks enter the floor or walls and is used to facilitate air ventilation in normal circumstances. In the case of a fire, a fire damper separates the fire from its source to other areas by shutting the duct passage, hence preventing the fire from spreading to other areas of the building through the ductworks. The damper is installed with heat sensitive devices or fusible links that close the damper when a fire is detected. Alternatively, there are some fire dampers that use a complex mesh of materials with a coating of intumescent that swells up and closes the ducts on heating.
There are two common types of fire dampers; Dynamic Fire Damper and Static Fire Damper.
Dynamic Fire Damper
This is installed inside the vertical barriers and the HVAC Fan will stay on operation even when a fire breaks out. Since these fire dampers are located in the vertical barriers, they usually have a spring-loaded design. Owing to the spring-like mechanism of the doors, they shut in a similar fashion. As the HVAC Fan remains on during a fire, it facilitates the closure of the damper doors through the spring mechanism.
Static Fire Damper
This fire damper is installed at the barrier so that the HVAC fan can switch off when the fire breaks out. These dampers have a design similar to the curtains and are installed on the horizontal barriers. As the HVAC fan switches off during a fire, there is no air pressure which forces the damper doors to fall down because of gravity.
Facility managers, as well as building owners, need to have a clear understanding about the working of a fire damper as that would help them to gauge the importance of timely repair and maintenance of this essential equipment. One must keep in mind that it takes only 30 seconds for a small spark to grow into a full-fledged fire. While the most common type of fire prevention device known is the fire extinguisher, property owners have to be aware of other fire safety measures that should be implemented as well. Apart from the basics of knowing how to use and where to buy fire extinguishers in Singapore, one should prevent accidental fires by using the right prevention equipment.