‘Smoke shaft’ is the common term for ventilation systems in the lobbies of tall buildings, used to maintain tenable conditions in the common escape routes in the event of a fire in the building.
They are essentially a simple ventilation system designed to extract any smoke leaking into a common lobby to protect the escape stairs. Typically, a vertical builder’s work duct rising through the building would be used to extract smoke from the lobbies. Each lobby would have a damper connected to the builder’s work duct.
Many electrical contractors have attempted to self-install commercial smoke control and automated opening ventilator (AOV) systems, but because they were not properly prepared they didn’t enjoy the experience. What steps do you take to properly install such a system? How can you ensure that the system you install today will work in the future when a fire occurs?
Here at Easivent we wanted to make it easier for you to get your job done. So, we put together a range of AOV Kits which provide a solution for just about any smoke ventilation requirement in a building.
Easivent’s Kits are designed for self-installation and meet the requirements of Approved Document B of the Building Regulations. The Kits can be installed as either stand-alone systems or be inter-connected to form modular "smoke shaft" systems without the need of additional interfaces or software.
It’s the responsibility of installers to ensure their systems are complaint. This risk can be reduced by ensuring the products they use are certified and compliant.
A stairwell smoke ventilator is an automatic opening ventilator (AOV) which provides at least 1.0m2 of free area when open. It usually serves one of two purposes;
If a fire breaks out, which results in smoke getting into communal lobbies or corridors adjoining the escape stairwell, there needs to be some means of removing smoke from these areas. Solutions to this include the installation of an automatic opening ventilator (AOV) or a natural/mechanical smoke shaft system. As smoke is extracted through such a system, the stairwell ventilator provides replacement air to allow people to escape safely and firefighters to enter the building easily to tackle the fire.
In line with the recent trend among main contractors to self deliver MEP services, some M&E and fire alarm contractors are following a similar route by bringing smoke control in house.