Fire and Smoke Damper Inspection Certification Requirements
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Lately we have been hearing about more and more local, state and city jurisdiction’s requiring that only certified individuals perform fire and smoke damper inspections. So, what does this mean? Let’s break it down.
NFPA 80 defines a qualified person as “a person who, by possession of a recognized degree, certificate, professional standing, or skill, and who, by knowledge, training, and experience, has demonstrated the ability to deal with the subject matter, the work, or the project.” Specifically, NFPA 80 2010, 2013, and 2016 really fleshed out the requirements for inspections. For example, the inspection and testing is required to be performed by a “qualified person”. This prompts some serious questions as a decision maker for your organization: Does your facility staff inspectors have the knowledge and understanding of fire and life safety to serve as the “qualified person” to perform the inspections, as required by NFPA?
Because of the somewhat grey area around the requirements of NFPA, some jurisdictions are taking things into their own hands and spelling our specific requirements for the inspection and testing of HVAC fire and smoke dampers. For instance, in Illinois, a pending ordinance that takes effect on January 1, 2022 specifically requires inspections and testing of HVAC fire dampers and smoke dampers to be conducted by individuals certified and accredited to comply with specified requirements and that all fire and smoke dampers inspected meet the standards established in the current International Fire Code adopted by the State of Illinois and the authority having jurisdiction.
As life safety professionals, the concern these changes pose revolve around certification. How do you get certified to be a fire and smoke damper inspector so you can meet code requirements? Achieving a certification tests and certifies your achievement of a professional level of knowledge and skill in the field of fire and smoke damper inspection. When you become a Safenetix Certified Fire and Smoke Damper Inspection Technician, you are recognized by your peers and the public as a fire safety professional who has attained a generally-accepted level of knowledge in areas such as code requirements, fire and smoke damper functionality, diagnosis, maintenance practices, safety, and other subject and practice areas within the passive fire protection profession as identified through periodic job task analyses. Hiring a Certified Fire and Smoke Damper Inspection Technician provides building owners, facility managers, and government decision-makers the opportunity to become better informed about proper passive fire protection maintenance and their selection of service providers based on the expertise represented by your credential.
Here are the jurisdictions that we know are requiring third party certification:
- West Virginia
- New Mexico
- Philadelphia, PA
- Pittsburgh, PA
- Illinois (Effective January 1, 2022)
- Washington State
- Arizona (Currently Pending)
- Lucas County Ohio (Includes Toledo)
- Lake County Ohio
- Columbus, Ohio
- Cleveland, Ohio
What are the objectives of a Safenetix Fire and Smoke Damper Inspector credential?
Safenetix’s objectives for offering professional credentials are to:
- Advance the knowledge and ethical inspection of fire and smoke damper in commercial facilities;
- Improve technical competency of personnel in the fire safety industry;
- Create incentives for individuals to continue their professional development;
- Provide the public and those in the industry with a means to identify professionals who have demonstrated by passing a professionally-developed exam that they have thorough knowledge and skill in tree care practices
Why is Accreditation important? Becoming ANSI Accredited means that the Safenetix Fire and Smoke Damper Inspector Certification meets the highest of standards. This provides an added level of confidence in the certification and the people who hold the credential. It also protects the integrity of the Safenetix programs.
So how can you take the exam? We expect to have the exam approved and credentialed by ANSI sometime with in the next month or so. Be the first to know when it’s available by filling out the form below. We will let you know as soon as it’s available.