Fire Smoke Damper

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Smoke dampers are passive fire protection products used in air conditioning and ventilation ductwork or installed in physical smoke barriers (e.g., walls). This may be done to prevent the spread of smoke from the space of fire origin to other spaces in the same building. A combination of fans and dampers can exhaust smoke from an area while pressurizing the smoke-free areas around the affected area (inhibiting smoke infiltration into additional areas). These can also be used to maintain the required concentration of a fire suppression clean agent in a space, as installed in supply air ducts to restrict the introduction of air into the space, and as installed in return or exhaust air ducts to restrict the depletion of the clean agent from the space. Smoke dampers are usually installed by sheet metal contractors.

Smoke dampers can be activated by the fire alarm system, usually initiated by smoke detectors, or interlocked with a fire suppression system. Smoke dampers close by an electric or pneumatic actuator, or a spring actuator, and can be either manually reset or driven open on a reset signal to the electric or pneumatic actuator.

Combination fire smoke dampers are also available if a smoke barrier is desired at the same location as a fire barrier.

According to Underwriter's Laboratory, "smoke dampers certified by UL carry a leakage class rating that indicates the level of air leakage measured through the damper under test conditions.

Fire dampers and smoke dampers are an integral and essential part of a building's passive fire protection system.

Fire dampers are passive fire protection products used in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) ducts to prevent the spread of fire inside the ductwork through fire-resistance rated walls and floors. Fire smoke dampers are similar to fire dampers in fire resistance rating, and also prevent the spread of smoke inside the ducts. When a rise in temperature occurs, the fire damper closes, usually activated by a thermal element which melts at temperatures higher than ambient but low enough to indicate the presence of a fire, allowing springs to close the damper blades. Fire dampers can also close following receipt of an electrical signal from a fire alarm system utilising detectors remote from the damper, indicating the sensing of heat or smoke in the building occupied spaces or in the HVAC duct system.


  • What is the purpose of a fire damper?
    • Fire Dampers are used to maintain the required ratings of fire rated barriers (walls, partitions, floors) when they are penetrated by ductwork.
  • How does a fire damper work?
    • When a rise in temperature occurs a fire damper will close and prevent the spread of flame through the barrier. Dampers are typically curtain style that will close (shut) when a fusible link melts. The fusible link typically melts when the temperature rises to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. In some circumstances higher degree fusible links (e.g. 212°F) are installed in ductwork with consistently higher normal temperatures, such as hot decks in dual duct systems. Fire dampers are certified by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) to carry hourly fire resistance ratings, typically 1.5 to 3 hours.
  • What types of fire dampers exists?
    • Dynamic Fire Dampers – Dynamic Fire Damper is a damper that is approved for use where the HVAC System blower will remain on during an alarm (or "Fans On"). Dynamic fire dampers are rated to close against moving air.
    • Static Fire Dampers – Static Fire Damper is a damper that is approved for use where the HVAC System blower will cycle off during an alarm (or "Fans Off").
  • What is the purpose of a smoke damper?
    • Smoke dampers are used is ductwork and air transfer openings that are designed to resist the passage of air and smoke. Smoke dampers may be required in smoke barriers and other smoke controlled systems.
  • How does a smoke damper work?
    • Typically smoke dampers are operated by smoke detectors in the ductwork that will close the smoke damper when smoke is detected. Smoke detectors often are hard wired to a central alarm panel in which the alarm will relay a signal to the smoke damper to cause smoke damper closure. The closure of smoke dampers are done by an actuator – the actuator is either electric or pneumatic. The actuator utilizes the jackshaft and linkage to open and close the blades of the smoke damper. Smoke dampers are UL certified with an air leakage class rating.
  • What is a Combination Fire and Smoke Damper?
    • These dampers are used in areas where both smoke and fire barriers are located to prevent the passage of both smoke and flames.
  • What is a Corridor Damper?
    • Corridors are means of egress travel to an exit. Corridor dampers are fire and smoke dampers that have been designed for use in corridors.
  • What is a Ceiling Damper?
    • Ceiling dampers lessen the passage of heat in fire resistance ceilings where ducts are made only through ceilings.


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