Will my smoke control system work properly during a fire? That is the question all building owners/operators should ask themselves. Smoke control systems are unique in that they often sit dormant (sometimes for years) and problems that can affect their operation may not be identified until it is too late. To ensure the right answer when you need it, catch up on device monitoring, commissioning, and why the self-test concept has received a bad rap.
This month, a consultant and NFPA committee chairman looks at the major items involved in a hospital’s life safety design. Like the fire risks themselves, the assorted relevant codes are evolving with regard to specifics like smoke dampers. HVAC wall penetrations, alarm zoning, and response plans are just three other aspects to consider in this demanding design environment.
On the mechanical side, a life safety key is providing proper dampers and detection devices for ductwork passing through fire- or smoke-barrier partitions. But that’s just one element in good renovation design.