Smoke and Heat Venting System Servicing

Whether they be AOV’s, SHEV’S or are identified by some other acronyms, we are talking about  systems for venting heat and smoke through manual or automatic means from buildings.

The planning authorities will make it a condition for granting planning permission in a large range of buildings from blocks of flats, offices and even some single family homes which can fall within the appropriate definitions as per the Governments Statutory Guidance at their Fire Safety: Approved Document B

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approved document B

These systems will be incorporated into the building at the design stage and there are a wide variety of designs and manufacturers equipment to keep the escape routes relatively clear of smoke, fumes and heat should a fire unfortunately occur, depending on the internal configuration of the building and the escape routes.

The problem arises is that these systems can become neglected and over the years, faults will accrue as parts fail, yet nothing maybe done about them. There is no regular maintenance or testing regime in place. Neglect sets in, The Responsible Person or Building Manager is not doing their job.

And the lack of maintenance will show itself as faults such as:

  • Failing Backup batteries
  • Failed Actuator Arms
  • Failed Control Equipment
  • Vents stuck or jammed
  • Failed smoke detection
  • Cable Faults

These systems must be the subject of regular service checks and maintenance to avoid these faults going undetected and unrepaired sometimes over a period of some years.

Our Engineers found recently that out of 19 residential Blocks of flats on one estate, 17 blocks had failings in the Automatic Smoke Vent Systems on one or more floors for faults similar to those itemised at 1-6 above.

Simply put the buildings had become unsafe and should a fire break-out within, the escape routes could quickly become unpassable and dangerous. I need not go on about the implications of such a situation occurring, simply to say it need not be so, and routine testing, maintenance and repairs must be part of a ‘good housekeeping’ policy for the building and its ‘Life Safety’ systems.

So if you need regular service visits and maintenance to smoke and heat vent systems to keep them working properly, contact us to arrange a visit.

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