Q: I work in a long-term care facility. It used to be that fire dampers had to be tested/inspected every four years, but I’ve heard that has changed with the new 2012 LSC. Now fire dampers are only required to be tested/inspected once every 6 years. I am perplexed because I cannot seem to locate where in the LSC it is written. Can you please tell me where it is written that we can now test fire dampers once every 6 years?
A: You seem to have it backwards. Section 188.8.131.52 of the 2012 Life Safety Code requires compliance with NFPA 80 for all openings (i.e. doors, ductwork, windows, etc.) in fire-rated barriers. Section 184.108.40.206 of NFPA 80-2010 says fire dampers in hospitals are required to be tested and inspected every 6 years; for all other facilities the test and inspection frequency is every 4 years.
Since Long-Term Care facilities are not hospitals, you would be required to test and inspect your fire dampers once every 4 years. The same holds true for smoke dampers.