Monday, October 10, 2011

Fire Dampers an item often abused because its hiding above the ceiling tiles

We have a Big Mid regional Alarm dealer whose home base is here in Pittsburgh and There technicians go around telling every one " There the Fire Alarm experts of Pittsburgh"

Well Mr Experts explain this picture where you installed a fire Alarm system in an old City of Pittsburgh School now in private hands .

What you see in the picture is a Automatic Fire Damper in what is known as a Plenum Ceiling where the entire area above the ceiling is used as a air return duct
instead of running a separate metal one. Which designers claim save significant money but brings with it many many code issues which must be followed and where not done here.

First off the damper works by heat activation the small link you see when subjected to the heat of a fire melts away and the damper closes stopping the fire from getting thru the Fire Wall.
Well most times it does but often times installers run wires thru the damper preventing it from closing .
So what did Our quote Experts do they drilled a hole below the duct and feed the wire thru and violated Fire and Electrical codes. First off the wire being used is the wrong type its just normal red fire wire not plenum rated which is required by the National Electrical Code . 2nd they did not use a proper sealing off method sending the wire thru the fire wall to prevent fire spread they either need to use a special intralumensant putty or a self sealing pass thru tube as you can see they did neither . But remember now these are the fire alarm experts of Pittsburgh.

Do us all a favor G-uys and learn how to do fire alarms correctly and to code and stop tooting your horn. I see plenty of this type of slope all the time from you and it needs to stop.
Should we talk next about the horrific job you did at a Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh Next.
I think so.

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