Choosing the right product for the application

AOVs’ opening into a smoke shaft or duct is a function of a smoke control system and what you should be looking for in a product is that it has an EI & S classification and complies with BS EN 1366-10, BS EN 13501-4 and BS EN 12101-8 which is the testing, classification and product standard for this type of product application.

Producers of genuine proprietary Lobby to shaft AOV will have a CE marked product and be able to provide fire resistance performance classifications, for integrity, insulation and leakage of their product, in accordance with BS EN 13501-4

There are a few producers offering an array of products claiming them suitable for use as lobby to shaft smoke ventilation AOV’s. Yet none of these producers are providing products to the relevant British and European product standard as they should be doing to comply with the construction products regulation.

Instead the producers of these Hybrid products cite a Hotchpotch of inappropriate and often incorrect standards for the application for which they are promoting their products and indeed very often refer to specific tests that have been cherry picked in isolation from differing product standards, some of which are obsolete.

The types of HYBRID products on offer:

Proprietary wooden fire doors with actuators fitted
The producers and supporters of this type of Hybrid product cite the fire door test standard EN 1634-1 and -3 for the door and then state that their chosen opening mechanism has been used elsewhere on an EN12101-2 SHEV.

  • Often there is no independent test evidence that they have been tested together as a whole unit even though fire door manufacturers clearly state that the fire door tests only applicable to the complete tested assembly.
  • “Any test evidence used to substantiate the fire resistance rating of a door or shutter should be carefully checked to ensure that it adequately demonstrates compliance and is applicable to the adequately complete installed assembly.”
  • Appendix G test of EN12101-2 requires the vent to open after five minutes and remain open but it has no requirement to demonstrate maintaining a vent in the closed position at elevated temperature.

Hinged fabricated metal flap/ doors with actuators fitted
The producers and supporters of this type of Hybrid product also cite EN 1634 fire door tests with add on actuators that could be shown to have been being used on EN12101-2 SHEV’s. There are some products being offered with no apparent evidence of any testing. Many still make claim that their product has an FD30 S rating. This should rule it out from all shaft applications as it is now recognised that shafts shall be minimum 60-minute rating.

In fact, the FD30 S claims being made are not for the complete assembly so this does not comply with Approved Document B, that states that test evidence should demonstrate that it applies to the complete installed assembly.

We are unaware of any Fire door manufacturer that will transfer their own fire door test and certification to another for them to fit different hardware.

Those producing Metal door hybrids are claiming an “E” classification. For a shaft application it should have an EI classification. In a nut shell it has no evidence to show any restriction of temperature rise across the door

Metal Fire dampers
Fire dampers are sheet metal products that are covered by a separate product standard because they are primarily products that are for mounting within fire resisting ductwork in a standby position open that are to close in an emergency. They are tested to EN1366-2. This is not a smoke control damper test and they do not have an integrity and insulation class “EI” and “S” rating of restriction on leakage.