Fire dampers containing asbestos
Actually, fire dampers make total sense: They prevent smoke and fire from spreading through ventilation ducts by closing automatically, thus preventing fires from spreading to adjacent fire compartments. However, asbestos, a harmful substance, was used in fire dampers in buildings until 1989. Asbestos can cause significant health risks and damage and is considered a proven carcinogen if it remains unknown in buildings and is released through ventilation ducts, for example.
Health risks from fire dampers containing asbestos
In fire dampers, asbestos was used in the damper blade, various components and, particularly frequently, in stop seals made of a foam material containing asbestos. These seals tend to decay over the years and thus represent a hazard. In addition, asbestos-containing fire protection panels have been installed to clad or encase the fire damper. In the past, there were no special safety precautions for asbestos-containing fire dampers when maintenance or renovation was required, provided no signs of wear occurred and the fire dampers were installed in accordance with the legal requirements of the time (see Asbestos Guideline). This guideline no longer applies since the LASI regulation of the state ministers status 2018, which regulates the handling of all pollutants.
Periodic testing of fire dampers only with protective measures
Due to the new guideline, the regulations of the Ordinance on Hazardous Substances must be observed during periodic testing as well as during the removal or replacement of fire dampers containing asbestos. This means that all fire dampers containing asbestos in existing buildings and systems may only be tested under high safety measures. These include the following points:
Professional qualification of the test persons
The person who performs the test of the asbestos-containing fire damper must have expert knowledge according to Annex 4 Part C of TRGS519.
Inform authorities about work containing asbestos
In accordance with the Ordinance on Hazardous Substances and TRGS 519, activities involving materials containing asbestos must be notified to the responsible authority at least 7 days prior to the start of the work.
Personal protective equipment
It is mandatory for all persons involved to wear personal protective equipment. In addition, suitable H-class asbestos vacuum cleaners must be carried.
Indoor air measurement
When testing the fire dampers, a room air measurement must be carried out by an accredited laboratory on all terminating ventilation ducts as well as openings in the relevant building (part). Release of the premises is only possible if the laboratory results are negative, i.e. without pollutant contamination.
At least annual inspection of fire dampers containing asbestos
The new LASI regulation 2018 requires that fire dampers containing asbestos must be inspected in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications at least 1x per year or even monthly, depending on the degree of contamination, in compliance with the Hazardous Substances Ordinance. Consequently, very high costs are incurred for obsolete and polluted fire dampers. In the long run, a refurbishment of the asbestos-containing fire dampers is indispensable for economic and health reasons.
Refurbishment of fire dampers containing asbestos
Remediation may only be carried out by officially approved specialist companies (in accordance with GefStoffV Annex I Number 2.4 Paragraph 4) for ASI work on weakly bound asbestos. The specialist company must provide evidence of its expertise in accordance with Annex 3 of TRGS 519 and implement protective measures in accordance with Section 14 of TRGS 519. CWS Fire Safety has this expertise.
CWS tests and refurbishes fire dampers containing asbestos
CWS Fire Safety GmbH offers you an all-round carefree package for the refurbishment of your fire dampers. In doing so, the protection of people is our top priority. On the one hand, our specialists are equipped with personal protective equipment, and on the other hand, the working environment is sealed off by black areas. Special extraction equipment ensures that pollutants cannot escape at any time. At the same time, we take care of the professional disposal in the course of the pollutant cleanup.
Our services at a glance:
- On-site inspection: Review of building documents and on-site inspection to identify the sources of danger in all rooms of the building in question.
- Asbestos sampling and laboratory analysis: on-site sampling followed by laboratory analysis.
- Careful Planning: Determination of exact health and legal standards (including cost estimate) for contaminant remediation and disposal.
- Remediation and disposal: Registration and execution of the remediation work under all necessary safety precautions according to TRGS 519.