Apply the design process to select Dampers for ventilation systems and smoke control applications

Business Sectors (Suites): Building Services Engineering Design
Developed by: BSE Skills
Approved on: 29 Mar 2023


This standard is for those who:

  1. design for and select fire damper devices (FDs) to maintain compartmentation where ventilation systems (ducts) pass through compartment boundaries, and
  2. design for and select smoke control damper (SCDs) devices for smoke control systems to allow the release of smoke and heat and provide compartmentation protection to walls/floors/ducts where the release path is to be constrained.

The person performing this work should understand that Fire Dampers and Smoke Control Dampers are two different devices.  The person designing and selecting for both FDs and SCDs must understand:

  • the principles of compartmentation
  • the standards and principles for testing FDs and SCDs
  • the applications of FDs and SCDs
  • the correct procedures for the selection and installation of FDs and SCDs
  • building services spatial coordination
  • the correct procedures for access to, regular testing, maintenance etc for FDs and SCDs.
  • demonstrate good behavioural and ethical competence

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

1.      access current information about the system requirements as they apply to the work activity from relevant sources of information and documentation

2.      identify the requirements for the site, configuration and functionality of the system and devices

3.      analyse the building type, features, dimensions and fabric

4.      develop a design specification in accordance with system requirements

5.      assess the suitability of specific devices to deliver the system requirement

6.      confirm that the device can be installed safely and in accordance with regulations

7.      select device in accordance with specification and required function

8.      specify work methods and resources which minimise risks to the system and building fabric

9.      develop the installation schedule with discrete asset numbering showing device type and installation method requirements

10.  communicate to relevant others:

  • the relevant legal and regulatory requirements that apply to the installation and operation of the devices
  • the specified work activities and installation requirements for different devices and how these impacted on the design and selection choices
  • the operational characteristics and the service and maintenance requirements of different devices

11.  complete and safely store all relevant documentation in accordance with organisational requirements

12.  deal promptly and effectively with any problems within the scope and limitations of your own competence, responsibilities and accountability and report those which cannot be solved

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

1.      the current legislation, guidelines, policies, procedures and protocols which are relevant to your work practice and to which you must adhere

2.      the scope and limitations of your own competence, responsibilities and accountability as it applies to your job role

3.      specific procedures for reporting issues which are beyond your competence, responsibilities and accountability

4.      the duty to report any acts or omissions that could be unsafe/detrimental to you or others

5.      the operation, applications, advantages and limitations of the different systems and their associated devices, equipment, components and accessories in relation to:

  • ventilation systems and associated devices
  • smoke control systems and associated devices

6.      the relevant legal and regulatory requirements governing the selection, installation and operation of the devices

7.      the current legal and regulatory requirements related to different types of buildings including relevant performance standards

8.      the impact installation of devices can have on the performance of buildings against relevant legal and regulatory requirements, and how to determine this in different situations

9.      the principles and design of compartmentation

10.  fire resistance periods

11.  fire safety in buildings, human behaviour and escape requirements, principles of fire chemistry and physics, including ignition and heat transfer

12.  the principles and design of ventilation and smoke control

13.  device applications and application risks

14.  device testing and classification

15.  the interaction between ventilation systems and smoke control systems and other systems such as ventilation systems and the use of combined ventilation and smoke control systems

16.  ductwork types, properties and connections

17.  duct/wall/floor/shaft constructions

18.  device installation methods, equipment, fixings, support and penetration seals

19.  devices in combined penetrations

20.  the operation, applications, advantages and limitations of different devices

21.  the appropriate industry standards and regulations relevant to selecting, installing, fixing and testing the devices

22.  fire strategies, compartmentation requirements and fire penetration seal requirements relevant to the damper

23.  principles of control systems

24.  principles of ductwork and damper cleaning

25.  the organisational procedures for:

  • completion of the relevant documentation
  • the recording of relevant data and information
  • communicating with relevant others
  • addressing issues and problems identified
  • confirming with the relevant others the appropriate actions to be taken to ensure that any variations to the planned programme of work will not introduce a hazard and have minimum negative impact on the installation work to be undertaken

26.  behavioural competence, the ethical principles to promote safe outcomes, with respect for life, the law, environment and public good.

27.  how to complete and safely store all relevant documentation in accordance with organisational requirements



  • Fire dampers
  • Smoke control dampers

Equipment, components and accessories

  • Compartment boundary (wall/floor/shaft)
  • Breakaway joints
  • Supports (where applicable)
  • Anchors (where applicable)
  • Power tools
  • Controls

Organisational Procedures

  • Communication with relevant others
  • Customer service
  • Information management
  • Project management
  • Transfer of responsibility


  • Existing building or structure
  • New build construction – building or structure


  • Breakaway joints
  • Flanges
  • Flexible
  • Fasteners
  • Fire resisting anchors

*Relevant others

  • Building control
  • Client representatives
  • Customers/clients
  • Design team/fire engineer
  • Members of the public
  • Other contractors/trades
  • Site/contract manager
  • Supervisors
  • Work colleagues

Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS


External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

30 Mar 2026





Originating Organisation

BSE Skills

Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Building Services Engineering Design Technicians

SOC Code



Fire Dampers and Smoke Control Dampers