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EN 12101-2 and the importance of responsible smoke ventilation repairs.

EN 12101 Standard: Ensuring Effective Smoke VentilatorsEN 12101-2 Standard: Ensuring Effective Smoke Ventilators

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.

The Purpose of EN 12101-2 Standards

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.

Maintaining Regulatory and Quality Standards

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.

Risks of Improper Retrofitting

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.

Examples of Retrofitting Gone Wrong

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.


Other frequently encountered issues include;

  • The use of inappropriate fixings to secure the actuators, resulting in unsafe window installations.
  • The unintentional creation of fall risks due to large opening vents lacking proper guarding.

Take Action for a Safe and Compliant Solution

If you think you have something like this installed in your building, please get in touch with us immediately. This is not a safe or compliant smoke ventilation solution. Call us on 028 4277 2931 or email us at info@gsstothers.com.

To ensure complete peace of mind, we recommend booking a free building survey with us. Our engineers will assess your building and provide recommendations for any necessary improvements to maintain safety and compliance standards.

Request A Free Professional Survey of your needs

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