Q: I work in a longterm care facility. It used to be that fire dampers had to be tested/inspected every four years, but I’ve heard that has changed with the new 2012 LSC. Now fire dampers are only required to be tested/inspected once every six years. I am perplexed because I cannot seem to locate where in the LSC it is written. Can you please tell me where it is written that we can now test fire dampers once every six years?
A: You seem to have it backwards. Section 126.96.36.199 of the 2012 Life Safety Code requires compliance with NFPA 80 for all openings (i.e. doors, ductwork, windows, etc.) in fire-rated barriers. Section 188.8.131.52 of NFPA 80-2010 says fire dampers in hospitals are required to be tested and inspected every six years; for all other facilities the test and inspection frequency is every four years.
Since longterm care facilities are not hospitals, you would be required to test and inspect your fire dampers once every four years. The same holds true for smoke dampers.
Brad Keyes, CHSP, is the owner of KEYES Life Safety Compliance, and his expertise is in the management of the Life Safety Program, including the Environment of Care and Emergency Management programs.
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