AMCA International inmotion Magazine - Summer 2012 - (Page 26)

By John Knapp VIce PreSIdent of aIr control SolutIonS, ruSkIn, grandVIew, mo. pat Banse, pe SenIor mechanIcal engIneer, SmIth Seckman reId, houSton C Life and Performance Assurance onsultants in the field of fire engineering have long recognized the danger to life every building shall be divided into compartments to limit the spread of fire and to restrict the movement of smoke.” NFPA 101 goes on to describe that smoke barriers subdivide building spaces for the purpose of restricting the movement of smoke, while smoke partitions are provided to limit the transfer of smoke. Factors such as prevailing winds, stack effect, and the buoyancy of smoke contribute to the movement of smoke throughout a building. The heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) ductwork and air-transfer openings in buildings can provide a pathway for the smoke to migrate through the building unless properly protected by smoke dampers. Every building code requires approved smoke dampers designed and tested in accordance with the requirements of UL Standard 555S, Standard for Safety for Smoke Dampers, to protect these types of openings in smoke barriers and smoke partitions (the codes do allow certain exceptions). If the barrier or partition also has a fire resistance rating, then a combination fire/smoke damper is required to protect the opening. Smoke Dampers vs. Fire Dampers Although this article addresses smoke dampers, it is important to note that fire dampers are also used in compartmentation and it is important to highlight the difference between these two types of dampers. inmotion w w w. a m c a . o r g smoke Damper testing and Maintenance for Service and damage to property that can be caused by smoke spread throughout buildings, even when the fire is confined to a small area. A dramatic illustration of this concept is the 1980 MGM Grand fire in Las Vegas, which caused 85 deaths. Although the fire in this instance was located on the first floor of the hotel, most of the deaths occurred on the upper floors (floors 14 – 24) due to the migration of smoke. Smoke dampers are an integral part of any system designed to make a building safer by controlling and stopping smoke. One globally applied concept is compartmentation of buildings using fire restrictive construction, required by all of the major building codes in the United States. Paragraph of NFPA Standard 101 Life Safety Code describes this concept by stating, “Where required by other chapters of this code, 26 Summer 2012 a m c a I n t e r nat I o na l http://WWW.AMCA.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AMCA International inmotion Magazine - Summer 2012

AMCA International inmotion Magazine - Summer 2012
President’s Message
From the Executive Director
Code Watch
The Role of Fan Efficiency in Achieving Energy Reduction Goals
Fan Motor Efficiency Grades in the European Market
Performance and Reliability Assurance of Custom Engineered and Manufactured Fans for Industrial and Utility Applications
Smoke Damper Testing and Maintenance for Service Life and Performance Assurance
Advertisers Index

AMCA International inmotion Magazine - Summer 2012