What is a Smoke Damper
Definition of Smoke Damper in Construction
A smoke damper is a mechanical means of stopping the transmission of smoke within a ductwork system or through a diffuser or louver. Many times the smoke damper is tied into a smoke detector that is located within the ductwork. If this is the situation, the acknowledgment of smoke, by the smoke detector, will activate the mechanical link that holds the smoke damper in a location that does not interfere with the passage of air within the ductwork. If the smoke detector activates the smoke damper, the smoke damper moves into a position to obstruct the movement of air and smoke through the ductwork systems. A smoke damper is important for the control of smoke in a stairwell system, the elevator shafts, the exit hallways, or any other location that the smoke would cause a safety issue, if allowed to move into the area. The placement of smoke dampers is engineered by coordination between the mechanical and electrical engineers on the project as well as the architect. In addition the local fire marshal, as well as the building codes, will identify the proper location of smoke dampers per the latest building code. Specialized smoke dampers are also used in special manufacturing and industrial applications, to prevent the transmission of hazardous gases or smoke through the ductwork systems. In some cases, a wall, floor or ceiling diffuser may have a smoke damper installed within them to prevent smoke contamination.