Installing fire dampers is mandatory in commercial buildings in Singapore and facility managers across the country are responsible for their proper repair and maintenance. It is important that the buildings are protected against mishaps like accidental fires. Apart from fire extinguishers and smoke alarms, it is imperative to install fire dampers. These are effective equipment to prevent the fire from spreading all around the buildings. This is a big reason why fire dampers are often termed as the first line of defence against fire in buildings.
How does a fire damper work?
Fire dampers are installed at a place where the air conditioning and mechanical ventilation ducts go inside the floor or wall, and it facilitates the entry of the ventilated air during normal conditions through the partition, wall, or duct. A fire damper maintains the integrity of the fire separating elements by automatically closing the passage for a specific period, which prevents the fire from spreading to the other parts of the building. There are heat sensitive devices or fusible links that create a mechanism to close the damper upon detecting fire.
Time is extremely crucial during a fire breakout as it takes only 30 seconds for a small flame to turn into a deadly fire. Thus, it’s imperative to have a first line of defence to save the property as well as the lives of people inside. Fire dampers act as the first line of defence during accidental fires as it prevents the fire from spreading by cutting down the air supply. This device saves crucial time during an emergency by nipping the problem in its bud. Even if there is no one present in the building, the fire dampers work with absolute precision by shutting down the valves of the HVAC system and not allowing the fire to spread.
Fire dampers usually work at a temperature higher than 60◦c; however, some buildings already maintain a high temperature, so here the fusible links are set at higher temperatures of above 60◦c. To prevent the flames from spreading, two types of fire dampers are usually used; Dynamic Fire Damper and Static Fire Damper.
How is the installation of a fire damper carried out?
Installation of fire dampers is usually carried out by trained and experienced professionals who are aware of the electrical and mechanical systems inside a building. Besides just knowledge of the installation, the technicians are even aware of the building design. Thus, they know precisely where the HVAC system is used and how the wiring has been carried out inside the building. All these things help them to create a proper strategy to install the fire dampers. These devices need to be installed at specific locations so that the valves are closed at the right moment when a fire breaks out.