Smoke Control Initial Assessment and Annual Testing

What is smoke control?

Smoke management systems

Smoke control, or a smoke management system, is a stand-alone system or integrated into the fire alarm systems of a building. It is intended to keep the exits and means of egress for occupants clear from smoke, improves visibility for firefighters and first responders, and mitigates smoke damage.

How does a smoke management system work?

Key methods utilized to contain or direct smoke include:

  • Compartmentation which restricts the movement of smoke, reducing leakage and keeping smoke contained.
  • Dilution which controls the movement of smoke and exhausts contaminated air
  • Pressurization which uses high pressure systems to keep smoke from migrating into specific areas
  • Buoyancy uses vents, that may or not may not be fan powered, to move smoke outside
  • Airflow which removes smoke by using fans to channel the smoke outdoors, e.g. in tunnels

Does every building have a smoke control system? Most buildings have some type of smoke control system. If you are not familiar with yours or would like to find out more information on your system contact us.  

What is the difference between a Smoke Control Audit and a Smoke Control Test?

A Smoke Control Audit provides a review of the existing smoke control equipment, maintenance, and testing requirements. It is conducted by an engineer. Ignis Building Solutions offers Smoke Control Audits performed by a professional engineer. We assist in establishing the proper procedures and identify the correct documentation for reporting purposes.

A Smoke Control Test tests that the system and its components function as intended and is separate from fire alarm testing. Smoke management systems are to be tested at least semi-annually, as determined by your smoke control plan.

A Smoke Control Test consists of:

  • Co-ordinating with other HVAC and system contractors
  • Ensuring all related systems are up-to-date and suitable for interconnectivity
  • All smoke control management system components are functioning
  • Reports to be kept on site for AHJ

A smoke management system is comprised of many parts including:

  • Duct smoke detector
  • Smoke Damper
  • Fire Shutters
  • Fire Separations
  • Fire Damper with fusible link
  • Motorized damper
  • Magnetic Door Holder
  • Air Handling Unit and Pressurization Fans
  • Emergency Power
  • Panel Smoke Control On/Off/Auto Switches
  • Fire Fighters Smoke Control Panel

What are the regulations regarding smoke control testing?

Part 7 of the Ontario Fire Code is dedicated to Smoke Control. In recent years, Authorities Having Jurisdiction have been turning their attention and inspections on smoke control systems.

They have reported repeated findings of smoke control testing not being complete, there being no procedures in place for inspections and tests, and components that may be functional but were not hooked up to fire alarm systems. All of which would result in a notice of violation.

Having trouble keeping up with all your reports and documents?

Try our Compliance Partner Program

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