DA06 Guide to Fire, Smoke and Air Dampers using AS 1682 Parts 1 & 2

DA06 Guide to Fire, Smoke and Air Dampers using AS 1682 Parts 1 & 2 is a new Design Application (DA) manual in AIRAH’s collection of technical resources.

How can this DA manual help?

The primary purpose of DA06 is to promote the correct selection, installation, and commissioning of fire, smoke, and (smoke exhaust) air dampers within the HVAC industry and associated trades. It aims to assist and improve the legal compliance of damper applications by providing technical guidance on the following issues:

  • The purpose and application of fire, smoke, and air dampers
  • The different types of dampers and their characteristics
  • The performance testing of dampers and the essential test information
  • Damper installation requirements and alternatives to fire dampers
  • Common installation errors and other non-compliance
  • Damper commissioning and certification
  • Inspection and maintenance protocols for fire, smoke, and air dampers.

Released in August 2021, DA06 covers:

  • Damper application
  • Damper installation
  • Damper commissioning 
  • Damper maintenance

DA06 is designed for:

This manual has been designed to provide a complete overview of the application of fire, smoke, and air dampers in building mechanical ventilation and HVAC. It begins with an examination of why these dampers are required, how they work, and the performance tests that prove their design, manufacture, and installation method.

This manual focuses on the application of the major compliance standards:

  • AS 1668.1 – on fire and smoke control in buildings
  • AS 1682.1 – on damper specification
  • AS 1682.2 – on damper installation
  • AS 1851 – on routine inspection and maintenance of dampers.

The fundamental life safety and legal principles behind the application of fire, smoke, and air dampers are explained. Damper types and their performance tests are outlined.

DA06 also explores the damper specifications and installation requirements of AS 1682 that are referenced by AS 1668.1 through the Deemed-to-Satisfy requirements of the National Construction Code (NCC).

The manual explores in detail the design, installation, testing, and commissioning requirements for NCC compliant dampers, as well as the ongoing inspection and maintenance requirements of AS 1851.


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You can also save on your hard copy order of DA06 when you bundle it with DA05 Guide to Fire and Smoke Control in Buildings using AS 1668 Part 1. Please click here for more information on this package.

About DA06

DA06 Guide to Fire, Smoke and Air Dampers using AS 1682 Parts 1 & 2 is AIRAH’s Design Application (DA) manual on the application of fire, smoke, and (smoke exhaust) air dampers in building HVAC. 

Building regulations require multi-compartment buildings to be separated into fire or smoke compartments. The walls and floors/ceilings surrounding the compartment can have mandatory Fire Resistance Levels (FRL) or smoke resistance. HVAC ducts create openings in these walls and floors, and the opening needs to be protected.

Fire, smoke, and air dampers are used to deliver this protection. Their correct application ensures that the building’s HVAC system does not make the building less safe.

A fire damper is a relatively simple mechanical device designed to achieve a relatively simple goal – to close off an opening to fire when the temperature reaches a pre-determined level. Similarly, smoke dampers close off and seal an opening when smoke or fire is detected. While conceptually straightforward, the correct selection, installation, and commissioning of these devices has proven to be a consistent long-term difficulty in the HVAC industry.

Common problems include dampers installed back-to-front or upside-down; with inadequate or no sealing; hard fixed to ductwork; penetrated by wires or pipes; or for incorrect usage (air dampers instead of fire dampers, or fire dampers instead of smoke dampers). It is also not uncommon for a fire or smoke damper to be compromised or undermined after installation. There seems to be a lack of understanding in the industry that fire dampers must be installed in a manner that was used in its fire testing – specified by the manufacturer and outlined in damper test reports.

Dampers are not complex devices, but they need to be installed and commissioned correctly and methodically. Many in the building trade do not fully appreciate the subtleties and importance of their installation, but these unseen components of a multi-compartment HVAC system need to be in place and ready to operate for the entire life of the system. Fire and smoke dampers also need to be regularly inspected and maintained to ensure their necessary operation in the event of a fire.

DA06 steps through the entire damper life-cycle, from the fundamentals of the whys and hows of fire, smoke, and air dampers, through to individual performance testing, design, and selection considerations; the details of installation, labelling, and commissioning; and the inspection and maintenance of dampers through their operational lives. The focus is on the major compliance standards – AS 1668.1, AS 1682.1/.2 and AS 1851 – with sections of the manual dedicated to design, installation, commissioning, and maintenance topics.

This DA manual highlights the common issues that are encountered in noncompliant installations. It also outlines the allowable alternatives to fire dampers and identifies where they can and should be applied. DA06 originated as an AIRAH training course and is a must-read for anyone involved in the selection, installation, commissioning, maintenance, or certification of fire, smoke, and smoke exhaust air dampers in building HVAC systems.

This page was last updated December 21, 2021