In this article we will discuss the importance of EN 12101-2 standard. EN 12101-2, titled "Smoke and Heat Control Systems - Part 2: Specification for Natural Heat and Smoke Exhaust Ventilators," is a crucial European test standard. It outlines the requirements for the design and manufacturing of smoke ventilators.
Adhering to this standard is essential for ensuring the effective operation of smoke ventilation systems. The standard sets specific criteria for ventilator performance. This includes the number of lifecycles to be tested, snow load capacity, wind load resistance, aerodynamic free area, and operational temperature without reduction in area.
This standard serves the purpose of guaranteeing that all components of smoke ventilation systems meet regulatory and quality standards. This ensures their safety and reliability. It also ensures that the components integrated into the ventilator function cohesively as a complete unit and will operate safely during a fire, even when exposed to heat that may cause deformation or structural damage.
Download the EN 12101-2 PDF here.
Regrettably, our engineers have encountered instances where installation and maintenance companies have chosen to replace or retrofit actuators from different manufacturers onto existing ventilators. This practice can potentially render the ventilator ineffective in a fire situation. Combining two non-original components with unknown compatibility compromises the performance of the ventilator, nullifying the EN 12101 certification. This situation poses serious implications for the safety of building occupants and insurance coverage.
To uphold the EN 12101 standard, any necessary replacements or repairs of components must be conducted using the same components as originally designed. Alternatively, if a specific part is no longer available, a component with similar performance specifications, tested to EN 12101, should be used as a suitable replacement.
An extreme example of improper retrofitting and the use of non-compliant components involves installing an actuator on a regular double-glazed PVC plastic window, passing it off as a smoke vent. Although this may have been a common practice in the past, it poses significant risks to health and safety. Smoke ventilators must withstand extreme heat during a fire, and such a makeshift solution would undoubtedly fail, rendering it inoperable. Not only would the window fail to provide the necessary smoke ventilation, but it could also melt and warp shut, actively trapping smoke inside the building.