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Selecting Fire Dampers for UK Hospital Projects

 Fire dampers are essential for ensuring fire safety in healthcare premises, where the occupants may be vulnerable and dependent on the ventilation system.

Over 40 years of product development has seen Swegon become a UK market leader for the manufacturing of Actionair fire, smoke and air control products.

1. Check the CE marking and standards

Within Europe and the UK, fire dampers are covered by a harmonised product standard, which is EN15650:2010There has been a requirement for damper manufacturers to comply with this standard since July 2013, when CE marking against the Construction Product Regulation came into effect.  

 A non-compliant installation is a potential safety hazard as there is no way of knowing if it will maintain compartmentation under fire conditions.

With extensive research and rigorous testing embedded our design and production process, Actionair products are tested to requirements exceeding the most up to date European standards and regulations.

2. Consider the type and location of the fire damper

There are different types of fire dampers, such as curtain, blade, intumescent, or combination fire and smoke dampers. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, depending on the application and installation conditions. For example, curtain fire dampers are simple and economical, but they may not be suitable for high-velocity or high-pressure systems. Blade fire dampers are more robust and versatile, but they require more space and maintenance. Intumescent fire dampers are compact and lightweight, but they may not be compatible with some duct materials or coatings. Combination fire and smoke dampers can provide both fire and smoke protection, but they may be more expensive and complex to install and operate.

The location of the fire damper is also important, as it affects the accessibility, maintenance, and testing of the device. Fire dampers should be installed as close as possible to the point of penetration of the fire-resisting compartment wall or floor, and in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. They should also be fitted with suitable access panels or doors to allow inspection and testing.

3. Follow the relevant guidance and regulations

Fire dampers are subject to various guidance and regulations in the UK, especially for healthcare premises.

With an understanding of the building regulations and Healthcare Technical Memoranda (HTM) standards, Swegon can provide detailed knowledge of the healthcare market alongside 2 year technical support and maintenance warranties specifically tailored to NHS services. We also offer support to help you develop and write clear documentation on dampers cause and effect.

4. Seek professional advice and assistance

Selecting fire dampers for hospital projects in the UK can be a complex and challenging task, requiring technical knowledge, experience, and expertise. Therefore, it is advisable to seek professional advice and assistance from qualified engineers, contractors, consultants, or manufacturers who can provide guidance on the best solutions for your specific project needs. They can also help you with other aspects such as installation, commissioning, testing, maintenance, documentation, etc.

Not only do we manufacture and supply Actionair life safety products, we deliver a range of popular CPD's looking to share knowledge with consultants, contractors and engineers on subjects such as damper compliance, control systems and performance classifications.

5. Refer the recommended list of suppliers for the ProCure23 Framework

As a preferred supplier for ProCure23, Swegon have a substantial role in providing Actionair smoke and fire dampers and controls, which are crucial for ensuring the safety of patients, staff, and visitors within healthcare facilities.

ProCure23 (P23) is the fourth generation of route-to-market provisions that deliver design and construction services to vital capital projects for NHS England.

With P23, NHS clients can ensure suppliers are experienced with both the project design and construction of healthcare estates.

Given the potentially catastrophic consequences of the spread of smoke and fire within healthcare settings, stricter guidelines and increased scrutiny for fire risk strategies in NHS facilities are integral to the safety of building occupants.

By securing a position on the recommended list of ProCure23 suppliers, Swegon is well-positioned to contribute to enhancing important fire safety measures in new build, refurbishment, and maintenance projects within NHS properties.

In Summary

By following the above tips, you can ensure that you select the most appropriate fire dampers for your facility. Remember to always check the CE marking and standards, consider the type and location of the fire damper, follow the relevant guidance and regulations, and seek professional advice and assistance when needed.