It is stated in law - British Standard 9999:2017 that all property owners must have their fire dampers tested by a competent engineer upon installation and then they must be further tested once per year.
Fire dampers are built into the ductwork of ventilation, heating and air conditioning systems, this helps to stop the spread of a fire. Having good fire dampers that work could be the deciding factor whether people are able to escape the building quick enough during a fire. It is essential to test fire dampers to ensure they work. In a building without fire dampers, the fire will pass through duct systems and spread at an alarming rate all throughout the building. Fire dampers close shut when a fire is detected, this slows down the spread of fire and ensures that escape routes remain clear.
Thermally: When a certain high temperature is reached within the building, the fusible link that keeps the fire damper shutters apart will melt and force them to shut.
Electronically: Electronic fire dampers are triggered by fire and smoke detectors which will close the shutters when fire or smoke is detected.
In order to test a fire damper is working properly, we release the fire damper manually - this to make sure that it closes fully.