The Basics of Fusible Link Fire Dampers

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Understanding the basics of how your fire protection equipment works are critical to keeping yourself and others safe. In addition to creating a fire safety plan and practicing how you will put it into place in an emergency, it’s essential to know if your home or office is equipped with the protective devices necessary to protect you. Fusible link fire dampers are one of the necessary pieces of equipment that experts recommend installing as a way to keep your home and office safe. Let’s take a quick look at the basics of fusible link fire dampers and why Lloyd Industries recommends them to our customers.

  • What is a fire damper?
  • What is a fusible link fire damper?
  • How does a fusible link fire damper work?
  • How do you reset a fire damper?


What Is a Fire Damper?

If you aren’t familiar with fire protection products, chances are you’ve never heard of a fusible link fire damper or a smoke damper before. Thankfully, the experts at Lloyd Industries are here to help you understand the basics.

A fire damper is a component of a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system that controls access to the HVAC ductwork in a home or office during an emergency. A fire damper prevents the spread of fire within the ductwork. Experts typically install fire and smoke dampers in partnership with fire-resistance-rated floors and walls to seal off the fire from accessing another part of the building. When the damper detects smoke or flames, it closes, preventing the fire from spreading.


What Is a Fusible Link Fire Damper?

A fusible link fire damper is a style of fire damper or smoke damper. While automated systems or smoke alarms control some dampers, a fusible link fire damper is controlled by the fire itself. The fusible link is sensitive to high temperatures and remains open until exposed to high heat, such as that from a fire.

In a fire, the fusible link fire damper remains open until the fire becomes close enough in proximity to melt the surround of the fusible link. Once the surround melts, the link opens, releasing the damper blades and shutting off access to the HVAC components and ductwork. The damper remains closed until a new link is installed and the damper is reset.


How Does a Fusible Link Fire Damper Work?

Experts install fire dampers with a range of fusible link ratings, with temperatures ranging from 165 to 286 degrees Fahrenheit. The fire damper’s blades remain open after being installed, allowing air to pass through the HVAC ductwork. In the event of a fire, the blades of the damper stay open until the damper’s fusible link reaches its melting point. Once the fusible link melts, the damper remains closed until a new link is installed.

There are various damper styles that do not use fusible links, including smoke dampers and combination fire/smoke dampers. Instead, smoke dampers rely on an actuator to open and close in emergencies.


How Do You Reset a Fire Damper?

Unlike a smoke damper or other styles of fire dampers, a fusible link fire damper can only be reset when an HVAC expert installs a new link. These dampers are one and done pieces of equipment, so it’s critically important that a certified contractor installs your fire damper to ensure that it is in working order and will protect you when the need arises.

If you want to learn more about smoke dampers and other fire protection products, the Lloyd Industries blog is an excellent resource for all of your fire equipment questions.

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