Information has been circulating in the ventilation fire safety arena surrounding an insulation classification for fire dampers. This was explained as being apparently required by the latest versions of Approved Document B (volumes 1 and 2) (ADB).
As, traditionally, this was not a requirement, the members of HEVAC Air Distribution Manufacturers Group (ADMG) had a meeting and prepared a letter to send to MHCLG asking for clarification on this topic. These members included both those traditional UK based manufacturers offering all steel products as well as those offering imported products giving an insulation classification.
The letter was very comprehensive, describing the existing situation and the need for clarification in the marketplace. Many contractors were confused and did not know where they stood in either specifying or using such products. Manufacturers were also very reticent about interpreting ADB for obvious reason.
After receiving the letter and a brief meeting between MHCLG and a small group from ADMG, MHCLG provided an email confirming that the specific requirements for fire dampers and leakage rated dampers were in the sections regarding E and ES classifications and that an I (Insulation was not a specific requirement.
This was confirmed for both fire dampers and smoke control dampers. It was also explained that fire resisting and smoke control ducting did have some requirements for Insulation.
It might be considered that as for ducts that for some specific applications of fire dampers and smoke control dampers an insulation classification might be appropriate to suit the application, but this is not mentioned and left to designers.
Details of the letter and the response can be obtained from HEVAC/FETA etc.
If more details are required on damper and ductwork applications for fire or smoke, please contact the writer below:
Paul White CEng BEng
Ventilation Fire Smoke Limited