Today, buildings are mainly using a stairwell pressurized only smoke control system
, and the other main form would be used for malls or atriums, where you generally have three stories or more open to each other through a common communicating space," says Chris Leaver, Senior Fire Protection Engineer at Summit Fire Consulting in St.
Specifically, in order to use the less restrictive design requirements for assembly seating, "[a]isles and aisle accessways serving a smoke-protected assembly seating area shall be provided with a smoke control system
complying with Section 909 or natural ventilation designed to maintain the smoke level not less than 6 feet (1829 mm) above the floor of the means of egress.
The IBC continues: "windowless buildings shall be provided with an engineered smoke control system
A design fire that is too small can result in a smoke control system
that will not provide the smoke protection expected by occupants and code officials, and a design fire that is too large results in a smoke control system
that costs more than necessary.
Firstly, while certain buildings were previously exempt, now all high rise buildings over 75 feet will require a smoke control system
by increasing protection in stairways in the event of a fire.
Cells also are equipped with individual smoke detectors tied into a master smoke control system
Another danger is that HVAC repair personnel may need to shut down fans for maintenance, but if the building's smoke control system
uses those same fans, that system will also be inoperable.
Although, the focus of this article is on the dampers, the entire smoke control system
is required to be periodically tested, and doors and any other fire and smoke protectives must also be tested.
Designing a smoke control system
for use in modern buildings is a challenging task.
For buildings where engineered smoke control is required by code, such as high-rise buildings and atria, smoke damper open/closed status indication is required for all dampers that affect the proper operation of the smoke control system
It is not clear that operating such a smoke control system
during a hurricane will be beneficial in all cases.
The space between the corridor ceiling and the floor or roof structure above the corridor is used as a component of an approved engineered smoke control system