The website of the Health Estate Journal

Importance of fire damper safety testing underlined

The NHS has a legacy of ageing properties, many with ventilation systems where it is not possible to gain access for effective cleaning or mandatory annual safety inspection and testing of fire dampers. This issue needs to be afforded much higher priority on risk registers, argues the MD of an independent ventilation, air, and water hygiene specialist.

The NHS has a legacy of ageing properties, many of which have ventilation systems where it is not possible to gain access for effective cleaning or mandatory annual safety inspection and testing of fire dampers. This lack of access is not a new issue, and needs to be afforded much higher priority on risk registers, argues Andrew Steel, managing director of Airmec Essential Services, an independent ventilation, air, and water hygiene specialist which provides safety services for several NHS Trusts.

Few would argue that one of the biggest ventilation management problems facing hospital Estates teams is maintenance, and maintenance access. If you cannot get to it, you cannot maintain it or certify that it is safe. Sooner or later, the equipment or plant in question is not going to do its job, and will potentially become a danger in its own right. 

n the case of fire dampers, this can mean losing control of the spread of fire and smoke which – even in small volumes – can cause significant and expensive damage to critical equipment, as well as a threat to life. Sometimes the dampers cannot close properly due to accumulation (often over many years) of contamination, or they have failed and closed, which can lead to stuffy rooms and an imbalance of ventilation systems. We’ve even seen them wedged open after ‘nuisance tripping’. 

Log in or register FREE to read the rest

This story is Premium Content and is only available to registered users. Please log in at the top of the page to view the full text. If you don't already have an account, please register with us completely free of charge.
Register

Upcoming Events

The Fire Safety Event

NEC, Birmingham
25th - 27th April 2023

Facilities Show

ExCeL London
16th - 18th May

NAHFO Conference 2023

Crowne Plaza, Stratford-upon-Avon
5th - 7th June 2023

Healthcare Estates

Manchester Central
10th - 11th October 2023

Access the latest issue of Health Estate Journal on your mobile device together with an archive of back issues.

Download the FREE Health Estate Journal app from your device's App store

Upcoming Events

The Fire Safety Event

NEC, Birmingham
25th - 27th April 2023

Facilities Show

ExCeL London
16th - 18th May

NAHFO Conference 2023

Crowne Plaza, Stratford-upon-Avon
5th - 7th June 2023

Healthcare Estates

Manchester Central
10th - 11th October 2023

Access the latest issue of Health Estate Journal on your mobile device together with an archive of back issues.

Download the FREE Health Estate Journal app from your device's App store

Step Communications Ltd, Step House, North Farm Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN2 3DR
Tel: 01892 779999 Fax: 01892 616177
www.step-communications.com
© 2023 Step Communications Ltd. Registered in England. Registration Number 3893025