Static Fire Dampers 101

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If your home or office is on fire, it’s probably not the best time to wonder whether you have a static fire damper or an active fire damper. However, this knowledge is essential to keep people safe in the event of an emergency.

What is a Fire Damper? 

Before we explore the details of static fire dampers, let’s take a quick crash course in how fire damper technology works. A fire damper is a component of your HVAC system. Professionals install fire dampers within your air ducts where fire-rated barriers intersect in an attempt to prevent the spread of smoke, heat, and flames during a fire.

Fires can burn over 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. You don’t need to be an expert to know that that type of heat is going to do a lot of damage. Fire dampers detect when a room reaches above a specific temperature, and then seal the room off from the rest of the building. Static fire dampers also prevent air from flowing through a space that is on fire. Cutting off a fire’s air supply helps to dramatically decrease the severity of the fire because flames need oxygen to burn.

Fire dampers come in three styles: static, dynamic, and combination. The difference between the different types of fire dampers focuses on three things:

  • How the HVAC unit operates in the event of a fire
  • The positioning of the damper in the air duct
  • The way that the damper closes in the event of an emergency

HVAC Control

In the event of an emergency, an HVAC system operates in one of two ways: its fans will shut down, or they will keep running. Experts will install a static fire damper, also known as a standard damper, in applications where the HVAC fans will shut down if a smoke or fire alarm is triggered. Dynamic fire dampers, on the other hand, allow the HVAC fans to remain in the on position during smoke and fire alarms. The action of the HVAC system is the most significant difference between static and dynamic fire dampers.

Static Fire Damper Styles

Lloyd Industries manufactures static fire dampers in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some fire dampers are smaller and thinner, such as this round fire damper. This damper is made out of galvanized steel and is fire rated for one and a half hours. An object’s fire rating depends on a variety of specifications. It determines the length of time that the object can be exposed to intense heat and flame without the object’s impact being diminished. Other dampers are larger and have a higher fire rating, such as this 3-hour classic fire damper. Don’t forget to consult your area’s building codes to ensure that you are purchasing the correct fire damper for your needs, as well as the best style damper for the type of protection you expect it to provide.

Installing a Fire Damper

Although static fire dampers only operate when the HVAC fans are off, the installation of these dampers is more versatile when compared to dynamic fire dampers. Our 1-1/2- hour dynamic fire dampers can be mounted vertically or horizontally, and our 3-hour rated dynamic fire dampers can only be mounted vertically. Fire dampers must be sleeved, and all sleeves must be anchored with retaining angles. A sleeve is a type of metal surround that helps frame the damper in a wall, floor, or ceiling.

Although installing a fire damper may seem like a piece of cake, the team at Lloyd Industries has decades of experience in the manufacturing of access doors, fire and smoke dampers, and HVAC products. It’s essential to consult an expert with experience in your state’s specific building codes to help ensure that your home or office will be safe in the event of an emergency. As the saying goes, hindsight is 20/20. Discovering a problem after an emergency has taken place is too late.

Ensure that the HVAC expert installing your fire dampers is utilizing the correct instructions for the specific fire damper that they are installing. Each product sold by Lloyd Industries arrives with detailed installation instructions that are also available on the company’s website.

How Does a Fire Damper Work?

Static fire dampers operate similarly to curtains. When a fire is detected, the building’s fire protection system will likely trigger the static fire damper. The damper closes, which prevents any air from passing through the HVAC system. As we mentioned before, oxygen is one of the main components that keeps a fire alive. Preventing air from reaching the fire is one of the main ways that static fire dampers can help reduce the spread of fire as well as reduce the amount of damage done to a building in the event of an emergency.

Do Fire Dampers Require Maintenance?

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) requires the use of fire dampers as part of its building codes. While many employers may feel as though their building is safe based solely on its age, ensuring that your fire protection system is fully operational regularly is critical to keeping your employees and tenants safe. The NFPA requires fire dampers to be inspected one year after installation, and then every four years on an ongoing basis. During an inspection, an expert ensures that all dampers in the building are fully operational, meaning that they will close properly and remain sealed in the event of a fire.

Dependability You Can Trust

Lloyd Industries takes pride in ensuring that its fire safety products are the best on the market. In addition to decades of experience, Lloyd Industries also provides documentation of its product tests to prove that its fire dampers will protect you and your employees from the devastating effects of a fire. Whether you are shopping for fire protection products or you want to learn more about the different types of products Lloyd Industries offers, you can feel safe knowing that Lloyd Industries protects your building.

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