Following a tragic fire in a Las Vegas hotel in the 1980’s, the industry recognized the dangers to occupants from smoke inhalation during a fire emergency. This spurred the development of a series of codes and standards, including NFPA 92A and 92B, intended to provide a method to control the spread of smoke and to provide safe passage for occupants out of the building during a fire emergency.
We often refer to the resulting systems as “engineered smoke control,” which generally utilizes a combination of dedicated fans and dampers as well as non-dedicated systems that are normally used for providing occupant comfort. The controls for smoke control systems are critical, and they require special consideration including connections to the building fire alarm system, regular testing, and in some locations, special agency (UL) listing. This month we are going to examine how to upgrade or replace controls and BAS in a building that may have partial or fully-engineered smoke control.