to main content Dampers - Requirements | Ambulatory | Life Safety LS | The Joint Commission
Dampers - Requirements

What are the requirements for the installation of fire and smoke dampers?

Any examples are for illustrative purposes only. 

The requirements for the installation of smoke and fire dampers may be found in NFPA 90A Installation of Air Conditioning and Ventilating Systems, 2012 edition, Section 5.3 and 5.4.  

Generally, fire dampers are required where air ducts penetrate walls that are rated for 2-hours or more.  They are needed in all air transfer openings (non-ducted) in rated walls, regardless of the rating.  And they are required at some, but not all penetrations of rated floor assemblies and shaft enclosures. 

Smoke dampers are required at penetrations of smoke barriers, unless the HVAC system is fully ducted and there is a sprinkler system installed throughout the facility, in which case they are not required. Smoke dampers are also required in air transfer openings (non-ducted) in smoke partitions.

Where a penetration requires both a fire damper and a smoke damper, combination units that are both smoke responsive and heat responsive may be used. 

Reference LS.02.01.10 EP13, LS.02.01.30 EP22 & EP23
Last updated on March 26, 2021
Manual: Ambulatory
Chapter: Life Safety LS

If no, please comment on how we could improve this response.

If you have additional standards-related questions regarding this topic, please use the Standards Online Submission Form