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Ul Standards For Fire And Smoke Dampers

By Author: Asmita Lokhande
Total Articles: 148

Technology is ever changing and due to its evolving nature, new regulations and safety codes are being introduced to improve the quality of safety products. Requirements related to product application and system design are changing and to meet these changing requirements, Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is reviewing their standards for safety and is constantly introducing new improvements to them. Upgrading standards for safety ensure that the products will perform efficiently in a safely and consistently.


Evolution of UL standards for fire and smoke dampers


Underwriters Laboratories was established in 1894 with the intent of providing safety-related authentications, certifications, inspection, testing and training to a wide range of customers ranging from producers of a product to the consumers. The first version of safety standards for fire dampers was printed for circulation in 1968. Years later, in 1983, UL established a set of safety standards for smoke dampers as well.


Over the years, experts have reviewed standards related to a UL fire damper and smoke damper and modified them in accordance with the changing trends and necessities. The 6th edition of UL 555 and the 4th edition of UL 555S came into effect in July 2002.  It states the new testing standards i.e. UL 555 for fire dampers and UL 555S for smoke dampers that all life safety fire, smoke and combination fire/smoke dampers have to comply with to retain their UL listings.


UL555 – Standards for Fire Dampers


Fire Dampers are designed to shut down and check the spreading of flames from one side of a wall to the other through an air duct or an air transfer opening. To be listed as a UL fire damper, dampers used for fire protection are evaluated as Static Fire Dampers, Dynamic Fire Dampers and Combination of Fire and Smoke Dampers. Static dampers operate in HVAC systems that are automatically shut down in the event of a fire. Dynamic dampers are used in a system that continues functioning in case of fire. Combinational dampers are used where both fire and smoke dampers are required at a single spot.


Fire dampers are subjected to a series of tests to meet the requirements of UL 555. These tests include Fire Endurance and Hose Stream Test, Cycling Test, Salt Spray Test, Dynamic Closure Test for Dynamic dampers and Duct Impact Test.


UL555S – Standards for Smoke Dampers


Smoke Dampers are used to limit the smoke to a confined space and prevent it from spreading in the HVAC systems that are constructed in such a way that they automatically shut down in the event of a fire. They are also used to control the spread of smoke when the smoke control fans shut down. Smoke Dampers are considered for use as either as Smoke dampers and combination Fire and Smoke dampers. Smoke dampers are installed in HVAC systems where ducts pass through smoke barriers. Combinational dampers are used where both fire and smoke dampers are required at a single spot.


The following tests are conducted to check whether the smoke dampers perform according to standards for UL555S dampers: Cycling Test, Temperature Degradation Test, Flame Spread Test, Salt Spray Test, Accelerated Aging Test, Smoke Develop Test, Operation Test, and Leakage Test.


Building codes and product application depend on fire and smoke protection features to protect the public from fire hazards and risks associated with smoke and hot gasses. One such feature of this protection system is based on preventing the movement of fire and associated smoke and toxic gasses through the building. This can be efficiently done by using an effective UL listed fire damper and smoke damper.

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