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Web video highlights vent fire risk

An online video company has completed a film highlighting the threats posed by building fires and the role of fire and smoke dampers in reducing the risks
The University of Newport in South Wales was the set for a video production that featured experts from fire and smoke control specialists Ruskin Air Management and was directed by former BBC producer Kath Morton-Smith of PurplepatchVideo.

Kevin Munson, managing director of Ruskin, was filmed in the university's boardroom talking about the practicalities of damper installation and the confusion in the supply chain that has led to a large number of unsafe installations. Fire and smoke dampers play a crucial role in preventing the spread of fire in a building and in reducing damage caused by smoke.

In the film, Mr Munson (pictured below on the set) focuses on the need for a co-ordinated approach to damper installation that involves designers, builders, manufacturers and clients as well as mechanical services, ductwork and other specialist contractors.

The content of the film is based around the Guide to Good Practice: Installation of Fire and Smoke Dampers (DW/145) produced by the Building & Engineering Services Association (B&ES) - formerly the HVCA. It explains why damper manufacturers and suppliers must provide dimensionally detailed guidance on how the damper assembly is to be installed including any requirements for damper unit expansion.

Fire strategy drawings that clearly indicate fire and smoke compartmentation, as well as the type and classification of the fire barrier and its construction, are also highlighted in the film, which is available on the Ruskin website and Youtube.

'Clear lines of communication are essential for successful damper strategies,' says Kevin. 'It is becoming increasingly important as the industry and its clients come under pressure from fire authorities, regulators, insurance companies and building occupants to get fire critical installations right.'

Ruskin has also re-published its product installation guides to complement DW/145 so that contractors can refer directly between both the manufacturer's instructions and the guidance to deliver a compliant installation.

Many systems have failed to meet fire safety guidelines in the past, according to B&ES, often because of problems at the design stage, failure to use fully competent design and installation companies, poor or completely absent maintenance, and/or inadequate communication between the different parties
involved at installation.

The online video is part of a joint multi-media campaign supported by B&ES and Ruskin including a webinar and touring CPD presentations that have already been attended by leading consulting engineers and end clients.

To view the film or find additional information about fire and smoke damper installation visit: www.ruskinuk.co.uk

1 March 2012

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