Smoke control systems are required by building codes1 for high-rise building stairwells, zone smoke pressurized systems in hospitals, secure inmate facilities, floor-by-floor isolation in tall buildings, atriums, underground buildings, transit tunnels, and covered shopping malls. The systems may be pressurized systems or exhaust systems, and often contain both types.
The goal of these systems is to provide a smoke-free environment for occupants to safely evacuate or relocate to a smoke-free area. The facility with smoke control is also required to be "fire" alarmed and fully sprinklered. International Building Code (IBC) 2000, Section 909.3, requires that smoke control systems be subject to special inspections and testing to verify the design and operation of the installed system. The special inspections duties and tasks are similar to commissioning.