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HVAC Fire Life Safety Systems. Eli Howard Executive Director Technical Resources SMACNA. FACTS. 1,451,500 Fires (2008) 918,000 Structure Fires (2008) 83% Victims Died from Smoke/Toxic Cases $12 Billion Property Damage . FACTS. 1980 MGM Grand Hotel & Casino – Las Vegas

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HVAC Fire Life Safety Systems

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hvac fire life safety systems

HVAC Fire Life Safety Systems

Eli Howard

Executive Director Technical Resources


  • 1,451,500 Fires (2008)
  • 918,000 Structure Fires (2008)
  • 83% Victims Died from Smoke/Toxic Cases
  • $12 Billion Property Damage
  • 1980 MGM Grand Hotel & Casino – Las Vegas
  • 75 Deaths Smoke/Toxic Cases
  • 1st Floor Restaurant Fire
  • Majority of Deaths on Upper Floors
  • Faulty Smoke & Fire Dampers
  • Fire Damper – A normally open damper installed in an air distribution system designed to close automatically upon the detection of heat, to interrupt migratory air flow, and to restrict the passage of flames.
  • Static Application – For HVAC systems that are automatically shut down in the event of a fire or for air transfer openings in walls or partitions.
  • Dynamic Application – For HVAC systems that are operational in the event of a fire.
  • Smoke Damper – A smoke damper is a device to resist the passage of smoke which:
    • Is arranged to operate automatically
    • Is controlled by smoke detection
    • Rated for leakage as specified static pressure/ temperature
    • May be a combination fire/smoke damper
  • Radiation Damper – A specialized form of a heat stop installed in the air distribution portion of a fire-rated floor-ceiling or roof-ceiling assembly; the sole purpose of which is to help maintain the fire endurance rating of the assembly.
codes and regulations
Codes and Regulations
  • NFPA 90A – 2009

Standard for the Installation of Air-Conditioning and Ventilation Systems

  • IMC 2009

International Mechanical Code

  • NFPA 80-2010

Standard for Fire Doors & Other Opening Protectives

inspection testing maintenance
Inspection, Testing & Maintenance
  • Damper to be tested and inspected 1 year after installation
  • Test & inspection frequency shall be every 4 years, except in hospitals where frequency is every 6 years
  • Operational test after installation for dynamic fire dampers and combination fire smoke dampers
inspection testing maintenance12
Inspection, Testing & Maintenance
  • All inspections/testing shall be fully documentedOnce every 4 years (relates to curtain fire dampers) Appendix B – “Visual” Inspection every 2 years
  • Dedicated System (Semi-Annual) and Non-Dedicated System (Annual)
inspection testing maintenance13
Inspection, Testing & Maintenance
  • Operational test shall be conducted for smoke/fire smoke dampers after installation/balancing of HVAC system
  • Test & inspection frequency same as NFPA 80
  • Fire Barrier – A fire resistance rated wall assembly of materials designed to restrict the spread of fire in which continuity is maintained.
  • Fire Partition – A vertical assembly of materials designed to restrict the spread of fire in which openings are protected.
  • Fire Wall – A fire resistance rated wall having protected openings, which restricts the spread of fire and extends continuously from the foundation to or through the roof, with sufficient structural stability under fire conditions to allow collapse of construction on either side without collapse of the wall.
  • Smoke Barrier – A continuous membrane, either vertical or horizontal, such as a wall, floor, or ceiling assembly, that is designed and constructed to restrict the movement of smoke.
where required
Where Required?
  • Fire Walls – No Exceptions
  • Fire Barriers - Exceptions
  • Shaft Enclosures - Exceptions
  • Fire Partitions - Exceptions
  • Corridors - Exceptions
  • Horizontal Assemblies -Exceptions
  • Membrane Penetrations – No Exceptions
where required18
Where Required?
  • Fire Barriers – Exceptions-Penetration part of ASTM E119 rated assembly-Ducts used as part of an approved smoke control system-Walls penetrated with less than 1 hour rating & fully sprinkled. Minimum 26 ga thickness
where required19
Where Required?
  • Shaft Enclosures - Exceptions-Steel exhaust subducts at least 22 inch-ASTM E119 rated assembly-Ducts used as part of an approved smoke control system
where required20
Where Required?
  • Fire Partitions – Exceptions-Tenant separation or corridor walls within fully sprinkled building-Duct less than 100 sq. inches-Duct not having openings that communicate the corridor with adjacent spaces
where required21
Where Required?
  • Corridors – Exceptions (smoke dampers)-Buildings equipped throughout with an approved smoke control system-Corridor penetrations in which duct is steel not less than 0.019 inch thickness (26 ga)
where required22
Where Required?
  • Horizontal Assemblies – Exceptions-Duct is permitted to penetrate three floors or less if it meets all of the following*26ga minimum and located within the cavity of the wall*Duct shall not exceed 100 sq. inches*Annular space must be protected per ASTM E119
plans specifications responsibilities
  • Architects – Clearly identify all fire-resistant assemblies and their hourly ratings on the drawings
plans specifications responsibilities25
  • Engineer – Clearly identify on the project's drawings all duct penetrations of fire-resistive assemblies and the details and methods to install the required dampers to maintain the fire-resistive integrity of those assemblies
plans specifications responsibilities26
  • Code Official – Mandatory that the plans and specifications completely identify all fire-resistant assemblies, and the details of how those penetrations are to be protected
testing organizations
Testing Organizations
  • Underwriters Laboratories
  • Warnock Hersey
  • ARL – Applied Research Laboratories
  • National Bureau of Standards
  • Factory Mutual System
  • Forest Products Laboratory
ul555 fire dampers
UL555 Fire Dampers
  • Fire Test (ASTM E 119)
    • Flame Exposure
    • 1 ½ (1750°) or 3 (1900°) Hour
  • Hose Stream Test
    • Explosive Forces
  • Dynamic Closure Test
    • Pressure & Velocity & Temperature
  • Cycle Test – Salt Spray
    • Operation Reliability
    • Gunking Test
fire damper ratings
Fire Damper Ratings
  • 1 ½ Hour – Less than 3-hour fire-resistance rated assemblies
  • 3 Hour – Fire resistance rated assemblies greater than 3 hour
c damper sleeve
C. Damper Sleeve
  • Steel Sleeve, see Table 5-2 for details.
g connection to duct
G. Connection to Duct
  • Connect Duct to Sleeve as shown in Table 5-2 and as indicated in Figure 5-2
h access door or panel
H. Access Door or Panel
  • Install as shown in Figure 5-1
appendix d acceptance tests guide
  • Inspection
  • Component Testing
  • Functional Testing
appendix f smoke management
  • Performance Testing
  • Stairwell Pressurization Tests