As the UK cautiously emerges from lockdown and the occupancy rates of commercial buildings begin to ramp back up, building managers and contractors are being urged to review their smoke ventilation service and maintenance schedules.
The stark warning comes from Applied Technology – a division of Elta Fans responsible for designing and manufacturing bespoke ventilation systems across industry. This includes high-specification life-safety smoke ventilation, including models for highly hazardous areas.
According to the technical team at Applied Technology, because such systems are designed for worst-case scenarios, there can be a tendency to fit and forget them, and lockdown measures could exacerbate issues further.
Bradley Crisp, Sales Engineer at Applied Technology, explains: “If the past year has taught us anything, it’s that contingency planning should be high on industry’s agenda. If smoke ventilation is not correctly maintained, building owners need to be aware that they risk becoming liable. It is up to everyone in the industry to raise standards by highlighting why and how to keep equipment in optimum condition.”
In order to generate more awareness of the issue, Applied Technology is launching a campaign to help inform industry on the common maintenance pitfalls, as well as advising on best practice.
According to Brad, the recurring issues that can compromise the performance of smoke ventilation systems include: a substandard approach to storage; ongoing service and maintenance; lack of accountability. He continues: “While we invest significantly into the intensive R&D and rigorous testing required to create these life-safety systems, we ultimately hope they don’t have to get used. However, that’s not a reason for them to be forgotten.
“With cities opening back up, people returning to workplaces, and the hospitality and leisure sectors wishing for a busy summer, our buildings need to be in optimum condition. This includes a thorough approach to service and maintenance of smoke ventilation. We hope that our series of content can help remind building professionals to assess their systems effectively.”
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