Fire / smoke damper and fire door commissioning services are important elements during a building’s early design and construction phase. As a general contractor, you are busy with constructing new and current buildings every day. And With modern construction materials being used, buildings are being built quickly and efficiently. However, as convenient as this is, it can create some fire safety issues. Finding the right contractor that is experienced in inspection and code requirements, as well as meets the building’s safety requirements, can be a chore. Therefore, it is important to understand what the commissioning process is and what you are looking for in a contractor.
According to The Building Commissioning Association (BCA), "the basic purpose of building commissioning is to provide a quality-based process with documented confirmation that building systems are planned, designed, installed, tested, operated, and maintained in compliance with the owner’s project requirements. Commissioning of existing systems may require the development of new functional criteria in order to address the owner’s current systems performance requirements".
Since modern construction materials burn faster than older construction materials it is critical that the commissioning process of dampers and doors is a part of new construction planning. A building’s fire and smoke dampers prevent the spread of flames and smoke through the ductwork of a facility. Fire walls/barriers as well as fire doors, if kept shut, help prevent fire and smoke from traveling throughout the building.
A building owner must have the confidence that their building’s fire and life safety systems were installed correctly – protecting the occupants of the building is too crucial to skip the due diligence of commissioning. In fact, according to NFPA 3, interconnected life safety systems (both active and passive fire protection systems), shall be tested after the initial commissioning process to ensure the fire safety system remains operational and that they work together as intended in the event of a fire.