Q: Our pneumatic tube vendor is telling our Engineering folks that they have to install dampers inside the system everywhere that a pneumatic tube run penetrates a fire wall or floor. I’ve never heard of this, have you?
A: I don’t see that as a requirement with the NFPA codes and standards. My first thought is for you to just ask this vendor on what code or standard he is making that claim. It is possible that a local or state authority made this a requirement at a previous project and he is just being over-zealous in wanting to make sure the job is done right, as he understands it.
Here is a code search that may shed more light on this subject. (All references are to the 2000 Life Safety Code.) Section 188.8.131.52.4.1 says openings in fire barriers for air-handling ductwork or air movement shall be protected in accordance with section 9.2.1. Section 9.2.1 requires compliance with NFPA 90A which is the standard that requires the installation of fire dampers in various locations of fire rated barriers. Since 184.108.40.206.4.1 only requires openings in fire barriers for air-handling ductwork or air movement purposes to comply with NFPA 90A, then there is no requirement for a pneumatic tube to have fire dampers because it is not used to move air through fire rated barriers; it is used to move carriers through fire walls, by using differences in air pressure. It would be similar to a large electrical conduit.
Make the vendor shown you the standard that he says requires dampers. Then see if it applies to your situation.