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Contents

Introduction ............................................................................................................ 2
Definitions ............................................................................................................ 2
Objectives ............................................................................................................ 3
Design Considerations ............................................................................................................ 3
General ................................................................................................ 3
Layout of System................................................................................. 4
Codes And Standards ......................................................................... 4
Design Principles ............................................................................................................ 5
Causes of Smoke Movement .............................................................. 5
Stack Effect ..................................................................................... 5
Buoyancy ........................................................................................ 5
Expansion ....................................................................................... 6
Wind Velocity ................................................................................... 6
HVAC .............................................................................................. 7
Control Of Smoke ................................................................................ 7
Pressurization ................................................................................. 7
Airflow ............................................................................................. 8
Purging............................................................................................ 8
Control Applications ............................................................................................................ 8
Zone Pressurization Control ................................................................ 9
Stairwell Pressurization Control .......................................................... 10
Control Of Malls, Atria, And Large Areas ............................................ 11
Acceptance Testing ............................................................................................................ 11
Leakage Rated Dampers ............................................................................................................ 11
Bibliography ............................................................................................................ 12
Referenced Publications...................................................................... 12
Additional Related Publications ........................................................... 12
Smoke Management
Fundamentals
SECTION OF ENGINEERING MANUAL OF AUTOMATIC CONTROL 77-1100
U.S. Registered Trademark
Copyright 1998 Honeywell Inc. All Rights Reserved
77-1134-1
SMOKE MANAGEMENT FUNDAMENTALS
2 77-1134
INTRODUCTION
This section describes objectives, design considerations,
design principles, control applications, and acceptance testing
for smoke management systems. A smoke management system
modifies the movement of smoke in ways to provide safety for
the occupants of a building, aid firefighters, and reduce property
damage. References are at the end of this section which include
smoke control codes.
Smoke is a highly toxic agent. Information from U.S. Fire
Administration estimates that in 1989 approximately 6,000 fire
fatalities occurred in the United States, and 80 percent of these
deaths were from inhalation of smoke. Furthermore, an
additional 100,000 individuals were injured, and fire damage
exceeded $10 billion.
Long term effects on humans from repeated exposure to
smoke and heat is a major concern. According to the National
Institute of Building Sciences, The significance of time of
human exposure is the fact that brief exposure to a highly toxic
environment may be survived, while a lengthy exposure to a
moderately toxic environment can lead to incapacitation,
narcosis, or death.
1
The primary toxic agent produced in
building fires is carbon monoxide. Other toxic agents include
hydrogen cyanide, hydrogen chloride, sulphur dioxide, acrolein,
aldehydes, carbon dioxide, and a variety of airborne particulates
carrying heavy metals (antimony, zinc, chromium, and lead).
Early smoke management systems used the concept of passive
control to limit the spread of fire and smoke. This method
evolved from early fire containment methods used in high rise
buildings. With passive control, HVAC fans were shut down
and dampers were used to prevent smoke from spreading
through ductwork. This application required very-low-leakage
dampers. Fire walls or barriers, used to prevent the spread of
fire, were enhanced to prevent the spread of smoke.
In the late 1960s, the concept of active smoke control was
created. With active control, the HVAC fans activate to prevent
smoke migration to areas outside of fire zones. This method
includes pressurized stairwells and a technique sometimes
called the pressure sandwich or zoning in which the floors
adjacent to the fire floor are pressurized and the fire floor is
exhausted.
DEFINITIONS
AHJ: Authority Having Jurisdiction. (There may be more than
one authority.)
ASHRAE: American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-
Conditioning Engineers, Inc.
Atrium: A large volume space within a floor opening or series
of floor openings connecting two or more stories,
covered at the top of the series of openings, and used
for purposes other than an enclosed stairway, elevator
hoistway, escalator opening, or utility shaft.
Buoyancy: The tendency of warmer air or smoke to rise when
located in cooler surrounding air. Caused by the
warmer air being less dense than the cooler air,
resulting in pressure differences.
Combination fire and smoke damper: A device that resists
the passage of air, fire, and smoke and meets the
requirements of UL 555, Standard for Fire Dampers,
and UL 555S, Standard for Leakage Rated Dampers
for Use In Smoke Control Systems.
Covered mall: A large volume space created by a roofed-over
common pedestrian area, in a building, enclosing a
number of tenants and occupancies such as retail stores,
drinking establishments, entertainment and amusement
facilities, and offices. Tenant spaces open onto, or directly
communicate with, the pedestrian area.
Expansion: The increase in the volume of smoke and gas caused
by the energy released from a fire.
Fire damper: A damper that meets the requirements of UL
555, Standard for Fire Dampers, and resists the passage
of air or fire.
FSCS: Firefighters Smoke Control Station.
Large volume space: An uncompartmented space, generally
two or more stories in height, within which smoke
from a fire, either in the space or in a communicating
space, can move and accumulate without restriction.
Atria and covered malls are examples of large volume
spaces.
NFPA: National Fire Protection Association.
Pressure sandwich: An application where only the zones
adjacent to a smoke zone are pressurized and the fire
zone is exhausted to limit the spread of smoke.
Smoke: The airborne solid and liquid particulates and gases
developed when a material undergoes pyrolysis or
combustion, together with the quantity of air that is
entrained or otherwise mixed into the mass.
Smoke Control System: A system that modifies the movement
of smoke in ways to provide safety for the occupants of
a building, aid firefighters, and reduce property damage.
77-1134
SMOKE MANAGEMENT FUNDAMENTALS
3
Smoke Management System, Active: A system that uses fans
to produce airflows and pressure differences across
smoke barriers to limit and direct smoke movement.
Smoke Management System, Passive: A system that shuts
down fans and closes dampers to limit the spread of
fire and smoke.
Smoke Control Zone: An indoor space enclosed by smoke
barriers, including the top and bottom, that is part of a
zoned smoke control system (NFPA 92A).
Smoke Damper: A device designed to resist the passage of air
or smoke that meets the requirements of UL 555S,
Standard for Leakage Rated Dampers for Use In
Smoke Control Systems.
Stack Effect: A movement of air or other gas in a vertical
enclosure induced by a difference in density between
the air or other gas in the enclosure and the ambient
atmosphere. The density difference is caused by
temperature-pressure differences between the air
inside a building and the air outside a building. The
air inside the building moves upwards or downwards
depending on whether the air is warmer or cooler,
respectively, than the air outside.
UL: Underwriters Laboratories Inc.
UPS: Uninterruptible Power Supply.
OBJECTIVES
Designing a smoke management system requires agreement
on the system objectives. The following is a partial list of
potential system objectives:
Provide safety for the occupants
Extend egress time
Provide safe egress route
Provide safe zones (tenable environment)
Assist firefighters
Limit property damage
Limit spread of smoke away from fire area
Clear smoke away for visibility
Provide elevator usage during fires as an egress route
for the handicapped
DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS
GENERAL
Four points must be stressed in developing a smoke
management system:
1. The smoke management system can be properly designed
only with agreement on the objectives of the system.
2. The smoke management system must be designed as a
complete mechanical control system that is able to
function satisfactorily in the smoke management mode.
The smoke management system should be designed
independently of the HVAC system and then integrated,
where feasible, without sacrificing functionality of the
smoke control system.
3. The smoke management system must be designed to be
reliable, simple, and maintainable.
4. The smoke management system must be designed to
minimize the risks of failure and must be tested
periodically. Sensors providing status of operation and
building automation controls providing system
monitoring and printed records can assist in the testing
process.
Present active smoke control systems use active methods and
follow two basic design approaches to preventing the movement
of smoke from the fire zone:
Providing static pressure differences across penetrations
in smoke barriers, such as cracks around doors.
Providing adequate velocity of air through large
openings in smoke barriers, such as doors in an open
position.
Although these two methods are directly related, it is more
practical to use one or the other to design with and measure
the results.
Methods used to activate smoke control systems require
careful consideration. For zoned smoke control, care must be
taken in using smoke detectors to initiate a pressurization
strategy. If a smoke detector that is not in the smoke zone goes
into alarm, the wrong smoke control strategy will be employed.
If a pull station is activated from a nonsmoke zone, the wrong
smoke control strategy could again be employed.
SMOKE MANAGEMENT FUNDAMENTALS
4 77-1134
Any alarm activation of a smoke management system that is
common to all strategies in the building, such as stairwell
pressurization, atria, and exhaust, is acceptable.
For a smoke management system to function reliably, building
leakage must be controlled during and after construction. Any
penetrations of smoke barriers and walls used for pressurization
must be carefully considered in order to maintain the intended
smoke control.
Smoke management typically includes control of fires by
automatic sprinklers. Designing smoke management systems
for sprinklered buildings is quite practical. However, designing
smoke management systems for buildings that do not have
sprinkler systems is extremely difficult. Complicating the design
task are problems with estimating the fire size and dealing with
higher static pressures (or airflows).
Smoke vents and smoke shafts are also commonly used as a
part of the smoke management system to vent pressures and
smoke from fire areas; however, their effectiveness depends on
the nearness of the fire, the buoyancy of the smoke, and other
forces driving the smoke.
LAYOUT OF SYSTEM
Smoke management equipment should be located in a
building where it can best facilitate smoke control for various
building layouts. The following guidelines apply:
Follow the drawings and specifications for the job.
Locate the smoke controls near the mechanical
equipment used to control the smoke.
Try to minimize the length of runs for sensors,
actuators, power, and communications wiring in order
to reduce the possibility of wiring being exposed to
areas where there might be a fire.
Appendix A of NFPA 92A describes an example of a
Firefighters Smoke Control Station (FSCS). The FSCS allows
firefighters to have control capability over the smoke control
equipment within the building. The FSCS must be able to show
clearly if the smoke control equipment is in the normal mode
or the smoke control mode. The example in NFPA 92A includes
location, access, physical arrangement, control capability,
response time, and graphic depiction. This example is for
information only and is not a requirement.
CODES AND STANDARDS
The integration of fire alarm and smoke control is covered in
UL 864, Standard for Control Units for Fire-Protective
Signaling Systems. Compliance with this UL standard for
engineered smoke control systems requires the following:
Compliance with NFPA 92A, Recommended Practice
for Smoke Control Systems
End-of-process verification of each control sequence
Annunciation of any failure to confirm equipment
operation
Automatic testing of dedicated smoke control systems
Controls that meet UL Standard 864 are listed under UL
Category UUKL. Standby power and electrical supervision
items listed in UL864 are optional for smoke control systems.
According to NFPA 92A, control sequences should allow
smoke control modes to have the highest priority; however,
some control functions should not be overridden. Examples of
these functions are duct-static high pressure limit control (use
a modulating limit control, if a concern) and shutdown of the
supply fan on detection of smoke in a supply air duct.
Manual override of automatic smoke control systems should
be permitted. In the event of multiple alarm signals, the system
should respond to the first set of alarm conditions unless
manually overridden.
All related energy management functions should be
overridden when any smoke control mode is activated by an
actual alarm or during the testing process.
During the planning

stage of a project, design criteria should
include a procedure for acceptance testing. NFPA 92A states
that, Contract documents should include operational and
acceptance testing procedures so that all partiesdesigner,
installers, owner, and authority having jurisdictionhave a clear
understanding of the system objectives and the testing
procedure.
2
ASHRAE 5-1994 Commissioning Smoke
Management Systems is intended to ensure proper operation.
Legal authority for approval of smoke control systems is from
the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ). The AHJ uses local
building codes as its primary standard. Local building codes
are established using several reference standards or codes
including the following:
Model Building Codes:
Building Officials and Code Administrators
International (BOCA), Inc.
International Conference of Building Officials
(ICBO)
Southern Building Code Congress, Inc. (SBCCI)
Western Fire Chiefs Association (WFCA)
- National Mechanical Code (NMC)
- American with Disabilities Act (ADA)
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
Standards:
NFPA 92A, Recommended Practice for Smoke
Control Systems
NFPA 92B, Guide for Smoke Management
Systems in Malls, Atria, and Large Areas
NFPA 90A, Installation of Air
Conditioning Systems
77-1134
SMOKE MANAGEMENT FUNDAMENTALS
5
P = Pressure difference, in. wc
Fig. 2. Smoke Movement Caused by Normal or Reverse
Stack Effect.
When it is colder inside than outside, there is a movement of
air downward within the building. This is called reverse stack
effect. With reverse stack effect, air enters the building above
the neutral plane and exits below the neutral plane.
The pressure difference across the buildings exterior wall
caused by temperature differences (normal or reverse stack
effect) according to Design of Smoke Management Systems
for Buildings published by ASHRAE is expressed as:
3
Where:
K
s
= Coefficient, 7.64
T
o
= Absolute temperature of outdoor air,
Rankine (R)
T
i
= Absolute temperature of air inside the shaft,
Rankine (R)
h = Distance from the neutral plane, ft
BUOYANCY
Buoyancy is the tendency of warm air or smoke to rise when
located in cool surrounding air. Buoyancy occurs because the
warmer air is less dense than the cooler air, resulting in pressure
differences. Large pressure differences are possible in tall fire
compartments.
Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Standards:
UL 555, Standard for Fire Dampers and
Ceiling Dampers
REGISTER
CORRIDOR
M13022
STAIRCASE
BUILDING
STACK
BUILDING
SPACE
WIND
MECHANICAL
HVAC
SYSTEM
GAS
EXPANDS
BUOYANT SMOKE
C5153
NEUTRAL
PLANE
REVERSE STACK EFFECT NORMAL STACK EFFECT
NOTE: ARROWS INDICATE DIRECTION OF AIR MOVEMENT
UL 555S, Standard for Leakage Rated Dampers
for Use In Smoke Control Systems
UL 864, Standard for Control Units for Fire
Protective Signaling Systems (UL Category UUKL)
DESIGN PRINCIPLES
CAUSES OF SMOKE MOVEMENT
The movement or flow of smoke in a building is caused by a
combination of stack effect, buoyancy, expansion, wind velocity,
and the HVAC system. See Figure 1. These items basically cause
pressure differences resulting in movement of the air and smoke
in a building.
Fig. 1. Factors Affecting the Movement of Smoke.
Before controls can be applied, it is necessary to first
understand the overall movement of smoke.
STACK EFFECT
Stack effect is caused by the indoor and outdoor air
temperature differences. The temperature difference causes a
difference in the density of the air inside and outside of the
building. This creates a pressure difference which can cause a
vertical movement of the air within the building. This
phenomenon is called stack effect. The air can move through
elevator shafts, stairwells, mechanical shafts, and other vertical
openings. The temperature-pressure difference is greater for
fire-heated air which may containing smoke than it is for normal
conditioned air. For further information on stack effect refer to
the Building Airflow System Control Applications section.
When it is colder outside than inside, there is a movement of
air upward within the building. This is called normal stack effect.
Stack effect is greater for a tall building than for a low building;
however, stack effect can exist in a one-story building. With
normal stack effect, air enters the building below the neutral
plane, approximately midheight, and exits above the neutral
plane. See Figure 2. Air neither enters nor exits at the neutral
plane, a level where the pressures are equal inside and outside
the building.
P = K
s
x
( )
1
T
o

1
T
i
x h
SMOKE MANAGEMENT FUNDAMENTALS
6 77-1134
P = Pressure difference, in. wc
The buoyancy effect can cause smoke movement through
barriers above the fire and through leakage paths in walls.
However, as smoke moves away from the fire, its temperature
is lowered due to heat transfer and dilution; therefore, the effect
of buoyancy decreases with distance from the fire.
The pressure difference between a fire zone and the zone
above can be expressed as:
3
Where:
K
s
= Coefficient, 7.64
T
o
= Absolute temperature of surrounding air,
Rankine (R)
T
f
= Absolute temperature of the fire
compartment, Rankine (R)
h = Distance from the neutral plane, ft
EXPANSION
The energy released by fire can move smoke by expansion
of hot gas caused by the fire. A fire increases the volume of the
heated gas and smoke and causes pressure in the fire
compartment. If there are several openings, the pressure
differences are small.
The volumetric flow of smoke out of a fire zone is greater
than the airflow into the fire zone. This situation is expressed
as:
3
The relationship between volumetric airflow (smoke) and
pressure through small openings, such as cracks, is as:
3
Where:
Q = Volumetric flow rate, cfm
K
f
= Coefficient, 2610
A = Flow area, sq ft
WIND VELOCITY
Wind velocity can have a significant effect on the movement
of smoke within a building. The infiltration and exfiltration of
outdoor air caused by wind can cause the smoke to move to
areas other than the fire compartment. Positive pressures on
the windward side cause infiltration; negative pressures on the
leeward side cause exfiltration. The higher the wind velocity,
the greater the pressure on the side of the building. In general,
wind velocity increases with the height from the ground. The
effects of wind on a tightly constructed building can be
negligible. However, the effects can be significant for loosely
constructed buildings or buildings with open doors or windows.
If a window breaks on the windward side of a building
because of a fire, smoke can be forced from the fire compartment
to other areas of the building, endangering lives and dominating
air movement. If a window breaks on the leeward side, the wind
can help to vent the smoke from the fire compartment to the
outside.
P
W
= C
W
x K
W
x V
2
The pressure caused by wind on a building surface is
expressed as:
3
Where:
P
w
= Wind pressure, in. wc
C
w
= Dimensionless pressure coefficient
K
w
= Coefficient, 4.82 x 10
-4
V = Wind velocity, mph
The pressure coefficient, Cw, varies greatly depending on
the geometry of the building and can vary over the surface of
the wall. Values range from 0.8 to 0.8, with positive values
for windward walls and negative values for leeward walls.
Q
out
Q
in
=
T
out
T
in
Where:
Q
out
= Volumetric flow rate of smoke out of the fire
compartment, cfm
Q
in
= Volumetric flow rate of air into the fire
compartment, cfm
T
out
= Absolute temperature of smoke leaving the
fire compartment, Rankine (R)
T
in
= Absolute temperature of air into the fire
compartment, Rankine (R)
For tightly sealed fire zones, the pressure differences across
the barrier caused by expansion can be extremely important.
Venting or relieving of pressures created by expansion is critical
to smoke control. Venting is often accomplished with smoke
vents and smoke shafts.
P = Pressure difference across the flow path,
in. wc
P =

Q
K
f
A
2
P = K
s
x
( )
1
T
o

1
T
f
x h
77-1134
SMOKE MANAGEMENT FUNDAMENTALS
7
HVAC
HVAC systems can provide a means for smoke transport
even when the system is shut down (e.g., a bypass damper
venting smoke). Utilizing the HVAC system in smoke control
strategies can offer an economic means of control and even
meet the need for zone pressurization (e.g., pressurizing areas
adjacent to a fire compartment).
CONTROL OF SMOKE
Smoke control uses barriers within the building along with
airflow produced by mechanical fans to contain the smoke. For
some areas, the pressure difference across the barrier can be
used to control the smoke. Where the barriers have large
penetrations, such as door openings, it is easier to design and
measure the control system results by using airflow methods.
Both methods, pressurization and airflow, are discussed in the
following paragraphs.
In addition to life safety requirements, smoke control systems
should be designed to provide a path to exhaust the smoke to
the outdoors, thereby relieving the building of some of the heat
of the fire and the pressure of the gas expansion.
PRESSURIZATION
Pressurization of nonsmoke areas can be used to contain
smoke in a fire or smoke zone. Barriers are required between
the nonsmoke areas and the area(s) containing the smoke and
fire. For the barrier to perform correctly in a smoke control
system, a static pressure difference is required across any
penetrations or cracks to prevent the movement of smoke.
Figure 3 illustrates such an arrangement with a door in a wall.
The high pressure side can act as a refuge or an escape route,
the low pressure side as a containment area. The high pressure
prevents any of the smoke from infiltrating into the high
pressure area.
LOW PRESURE
SIDE
HIGH PRESURE
SIDE
M13023
SMOKE
control system should be able to maintain these minimum
pressure differences while the building is under typical
conditions of stack effect and wind. This table is for gas
temperatures of 1700F adjacent to the barrier. To calculate
pressure differences for gas temperatures other than 1700F, refer
to data in NFPA 92A.
Table 1. Suggested Minimum Design Pressure
Differences Across Smoke Barriers.
Fig. 3. Pressurization Used to Prevent Smoke Infiltration.
Guidelines for pressurization values are found in NFPA 92A,
Recommended Practice for Smoke Control Systems. Table 1
indicates minimum design pressure differences across smoke
barriers. The design pressure difference listed is the pressure
difference between the smoke zone and adjacent spaces while
the affected areas are in the smoke control mode. The smoke
Pressure differences can vary because of fan pulsations, wind,
and doors opening and closing. Short-term variances, from the
suggested minimum design pressure differences in Table 1, do
not seem to have significant effects on the protection furnished
by a smoke control system. There is no actual definitive value
for short-term variances. The value depends on the tightness of
the construction and the doors, the toxicity of the smoke, the
airflow rates, and the volume of the protected space. Occasional
variances of up to 50 percent of the maximum design pressure
difference can be allowed in most cases.
Table 2 lists values for the maximum pressure differences
across doors. These values should not be exceeded so that the
doors can be used when the pressurization system is in
operation. Many door closers require less force when the door
is initially opened than the force required to open the door fully.
The sum of the door closer force and the pressure imposed on
the door by the pressurization system combine only until the
door is opened sufficiently to allow air to move easily through
the door. The force imposed by a door closing device on closing
a door is often different from that imposed on opening a door.
Table 2. Maximum Pressure Difference Across Doors
in in. wc (NFPA 92/92A).
Building Type
Ceiling
Height (ft)
Design Pressure
Difference (in. wc)
Sprinklered Unlimited 0.05
Nonsprinklered 9 0.10
Nonsprinklered 15 0.14
Nonsprinklered 21 0.18
Door Closer
Door Width (in.)
Force (lb ft)
32 36 40 44 48
6 0.45 0.40 0.37 0.34 0.31
8 0.41 0.37 0.34 0.31 0.28
10 0.37 0.34 0.30 0.28 0.26
12 0.34 0.30 0.27 0.25 0.23
14 0.30 0.27 0.24 0.22 0.21
NOTE: Total door opening force is 30 lb ft. Door height
is 7 ft. The distance from the doorknob to the
knob side of the door is 3 in. (ADA has
requirements which conflict with this table.)
SMOKE MANAGEMENT FUNDAMENTALS
8 77-1134
The door widths in Table 2 apply only for doors that are
hinged at one side. For other arrangements, door sizes, or for
hardware other than knobs (e.g., panic hardware), refer to
calculation procedures furnished in Design of Smoke Control
Systems for Buildings published by ASHRAE
3
.
AIRFLOW
Airflow is most commonly used to stop smoke movement
through open doorways and corridors. Figure 4 illustrates a
system with relatively high velocity to prevent backflow of
smoke through an open doorway. Figure 5 illustrates a system
with relatively low velocity which allows backflow of smoke.
The magnitude of the velocity of the airflow required to prevent
backflow depends on the energy release rate of the fire. Since
this can vary, the velocity should be regulated to prevent oxygen
from being fed to the fire. The fact that doors are sometimes
left open during evacuation of a building, allowing smoke to
flow through, should be taken into account in designing the
smoke control system. This is done by designing and testing
the system with one or more doors open.
M13024
DILUTED
SMOKE
RELATIVELY
HIGH AIR
VELOCITY
M13025
SMOKE
RELATIVELY
LOW AIR
VELOCITY
SMOKE
BACKFLOW
Fig. 4. High Air Velocity Preventing Backflow of Smoke
Through an Open Doorway.
Fig. 5. Low Air Velocity Allowing Backflow of Smoke
through an Open Doorway.
PURGING
Because fires produce large quantities of smoke, purging
cannot ensure breathable air in a space while a fire is in progress.
After a fire, purging is necessary to allow firefighters to verify
that the fire is totally extinguished. Traditionally, firefighters
have opened doors and windows to purge an area. Where this
is not possible, the HVAC system can be designed to have a
purge mode.
The principle of dilution can be applied to zones where smoke
has entered and is being purged. Purging dilutes the
contaminated air and can continue until the level of obscuration
is reduced and the space is reasonably safe to enter. The
following equation allows determining a concentration of
contaminant in a compartment after purging for a given length
of time:
3
C = C
0
x e
at
Where:
C = concentration of contaminant at time, t
C
0
= initial concentration of contaminant
a = purging rate in number of air changes per
minute
t = time after doors close in minutes
e = constant, approximately 2.718
Care must be taken in the use of this equation because of the
nonuniformity of the smoke. Buoyancy is likely to cause greater
concentration of smoke near the ceiling. Therefor e,
consideration of the locations of supply and exhaust registers
is important to effective purging.
CONTROL APPLICATIONS
Figure 6 illustrates a smoke control system with detectors,
an initiating panel, and a communications bus to an alarm
processor and remote control panels in appropriate areas of the
building. A configuration similar to this will meet the
requirements of UL 864, Standard for Control Units for Fire-
Protective Signalling Systems, and comply with NFPA 92A
recommended practice for smoke control systems. The remote
control panels position dampers and operate fans to contain or
exhaust smoke, depending on the requirements of the various
areas in the building. The system can have an operators control
console for the building personnel and an FSCS from which to
view the status of and override the smoke control system. The
system requires a means of verifying operation, such as
differential pressure or airflow proving devices, for each control
sequence. An uninterruptible power supply (UPS) is optional
but recommended.
77-1134
SMOKE MANAGEMENT FUNDAMENTALS
9
Fig. 6. Typical Smoke Control System Meeting the Requirements of UL Standard 864 and NFPA 92A.
FAN
DAMPER
END
SWITCH
FIREFIGHTERS
SMOKE CONTROL
STATION (FSCS)
REMOTE
CONTROL
PANEL 2
TO ADDITIONAL
REMOTE
CONTROL
PANELS
OPERATORS
CONSOLE

ALARM
PROCESSOR
COMMUNICTIONS
BUS
REMOTE
CONTROL
PANEL 1
INITIATING
PANEL
ALARM
DETECTORS
M13026
FLOW
SWITCH
SMOKE DETECTOR
(NFPA SYMBOL)
The following discussions cover smoke control applications
for building zones, stairwells, and large areas including malls
and atria. Each of these discussions conclude with a typical
operational sequence complying with UL Standard 864 for the
smoke control system illustrated in Figure 6.
Products utilized in smoke control and management systems
should be ULI labeled for the following applications:
DDC Panels: Smoke Control Equipment.
Building Management System/Fire Control System:
Critical Process Management, Smoke Control, or Fire
Control Unit Equipment
ZONE PRESSURIZATION CONTROL
The objective of zone pressurization is to limit the movement
of smoke outside the fire or the smoke control zone by providing
higher pressure areas adjacent to the smoke zone. Zone
pressurization can be accomplished by:
Providing supply air to adjacent zones
Shutting off all returns or exhausts to floors other than
the fire floor
Exhausting the smoke zone (also aids stairwell
pressurization systems by minimizing buoyancy and
expansion effects)
Shutting off, providing supply air to, or leaving under
temperature control all supplies other than those
adjacent to the fire floor
A smoke control zone can consist of one or more floors or a
portion of a floor. Figure 7 illustrates typical arrangements of
smoke control zones. The minus sign indicates the smoke zone.
The plus signs indicate pressurized nonsmoke zones. In the
event of a fire, the doors are closed to the fire or smoke control
zone and the adjacent zones are pressurized. In the example in
Figures 7A and 7B, the floors above and below the smoke zone
are pressurized. The application in Figure 7B is called a pressure
sandwich. In Figures 7C and 7D, the smoke zone consists of
more than one floor. In Figure 7E, the smoke zone is only a
part of a floor and all the rest of the building areas are
pressurized. Smoke zones should be kept as small as reasonable
so control response can be readily achieved and quantities of
air delivered to the nonsmoke zones can be held to manageable
levels.
+
+
+

+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
C5154 (E)
+
+
+
+
+
+
SMOKE
ZONE
+
+
+
+
+
+

+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+

+
+
+
+
+
+

+
+
+
+

+
(C) (D)
(A) (B)
SMOKE
ZONE
SMOKE
ZONE
Fig. 7. Typical Zone Pressurization Arrangements for
Smoke Control Zones.
The practice of exhausting air as a means of providing higher
pressure areas adjacent to the smoke zone should be examined
carefully. Exhausting air from the fire floor may tend to pull
the fire along and cause flames to spread before they can be
extinguished.
SMOKE MANAGEMENT FUNDAMENTALS
10 77-1134
Another consideration in zone pressurization is that bringing
in outdoor air at low temperatures can cause serious freeze
damage. Provision should be made to prevent damage when
using outdoor air, such as providing emergency preheat and
minimizing the quantity of outdoor air used.
Testing of smoke control strategies should include not only
verification of acceptable pressures but also confirmation that
interaction with other systems creates no problems, such as
excessive door pull in a stairwell pressurization system (refer
to American with Disabilities Act).
Typical Operation for Zone Pressurization System (Fig. 6):
1. Smoke detector(s) initiate alarm in specific zone.
2. System switches to smoke control mode as determined
in remote control panel.
3. System turns on pressurization fans if not already on.
4. System allows pressurization fans to continue running if
supply duct smoke detector is not in alarm or manual
override is not activated.
5. System enables damper operation as appropriate for
smoke control mode.
6. Operator verifies operation as appropriate (e.g., action
of differential pressure switch).
7. Operator cancels smoke control mode as long as initiating
panel is not in alarm and FSCS is not in manual override.
STAIRWELL PRESSURIZATION CONTROL
The objective of stairwell pressurization is to provide an
acceptable environment within a stairwell, in the event of a
fire, to furnish an egress route for occupants and a staging area
for firefighters. On the fire floor, a pressure difference must be
maintained across the closed stair tower door to ensure that
smoke infiltration is limited. Also, adequate purging must be
provided to limit smoke density caused by temporary door
openings on the fire floor.
To ensure proper stairwell pressurization system design, a
means should be included to modulate either the supply or the
exhaust/relief dampers. Also, a means should be included to
provide multiple supply injection points at a minimum of every
three floors (unless design analysis can justify a greater spacing)
to provide uniform pressurization.
According to NFPA 92A, Recommended Practice for Smoke
Control Systems, the intake of supply air should be isolated
from smoke shafts, roof smoke and heat vents, and other
building openings that might expel smoke from the building in
a fire. Wind shields should be considered at fan intakes.
Open-loop control of pressurization is seldom acceptable
because of significant pressure differences caused by door
openings. Closed loop or modulation provides the ability to
control pressurization within acceptable limits. Closed loop
control can be as simple as a barometric pressure damper
(Fig. 8) to relieve pressure at the top of a stairwell or a more
complex system to modulate dampers or fans at multiple
injection points (Fig. 9) in response to differential pressure
measurements at these points.
ROOF
LEVEL
BAROMETRIC
PRESSURE
DAMPER
OUTDOOR
AIR
INTAKE
EXTERIOR
WALL
C5151
STAIRWELL
ROOF
LEVEL
MODULATING
DAMPER
(4 PLACES)
C5152
DUCT
SHAFT
DUCT
CENTRIFUGAL
FAN
STAIRWELL
Fig. 8. Stairwell Pressurization with Barometric Pressure
Damper to Vent to the Outside.
Fig. 9. Stairwell Pressurization with Modulating Dampers
and Multiple Injection Points to Regulate Pressure.
Testing of stairwell pressurization systems should be
conducted with agreed on conditions including:
Number and location of doors held open
Outside pressure conditions known
Maximum door pull force allowed
Typical Operation for Stairwell Pressurization (Fig. 6):
1. Any fire alarm initiates smoke control mode.
2. System turns on pressurization fans.
3. System allows pressurization fans to continue running if
supply duct smoke detector is not in alarm or manual
override is not activated.
4. System enables damper operation as appropriate for
smoke control mode.
77-1134
SMOKE MANAGEMENT FUNDAMENTALS
11
5. Operator verifies operation as appropriate (e.g., action
of differential pressure switch).
6. Operator cancels smoke control mode as long as initiating
panel is not in alarm and FSCS is not in manual override.
CONTROL OF MALLS, ATRIA, AND LARGE
AREAS
The objective of malls, atria, and other large area smoke
control systems is to prevent the area from filling with smoke
as a result of fire in the area or an adjoining area. Purging is
used as the means to dilute and remove smoke.
In large areas (Fig. 10), the smoke produced is buoyant and
rises in a plume until it strikes the ceiling or stratifies because
of temperature inversion. The smoke layer then tends to descend
as the plume continues to supply smoke. Smoke can be
exhausted to delay the rate of descent of the smoke layer. Also,
sprinklers can reduce the heat release rate and the smoke
entering the plume. Adjacent spaces to the mall or atrium can
be protected from the smoke by barriers or opposed airflow.
Additional information can be found in NFPA 92B, Guide
for Smoke Management in Malls, Atria, and Large Areas.
Typical Operation for Smoke Control Systems for Malls,
Atria, and Other Large Areas (Fig. 6):
M13027
SMOKE
PLUME
FAN
EXHAUST
FAN DAMPER
FIRE
AREA
FIRE
SPRINKLER
Fig. 10. Control of Smoke in Malls, Atria, and
Other Large Areas.
1. Any fire alarm initiates smoke control mode.
2. System turns on exhaust fans.
3. System enables damper operation as appropriate for
smoke control mode.
4. Operator verifies operation as appropriate (e.g., action
of airflow-proving sail switch).
5. Operator cancels smoke control mode as long as initiating
panel is not in alarm and FSCS is not in manual override.
ACCEPTANCE TESTING
Smoke control systems must be tested carefully and
thoroughly. All measurements should be recorded and saved.
ASHRAE Guideline 5-1994 should be followed.
The system should be activated by an appropriate sensor
within the zone (if applicable) and the results should be
monitored and recorded.
Where standby power is used, testing should be conducted
with both normal power and standby power.
The use of smoke bombs or tracer gas to test smoke control
systems is discouraged because they cannot accurately simulate
fire conditions. Smoke bombs and tracer gas lack the buoyant
forces caused by heat generated in a fire. These items can be
used, however, for identifying leakage paths and leakage areas.
Periodic testing should be conducted in accordance with the
following:
NFPA 90A, Installation of Air Conditioning and
Ventilating Systems
NFPA 92A, Recommended Practice for Smoke Control
Systems
NFPA 92B, Guide for Smoke Management Systems in
Malls, Atria, and Large Areas
LEAKAGE RATED DAMPERS
Refer to the Damper Selection and Sizing section for
information on leakage rated dampers.
SMOKE MANAGEMENT FUNDAMENTALS
12 77-1134
BIBLIOGRAPHY
REFERENCED PUBLICATIONS
1. Toxicity Effects Resulting from Fires in Buildings, State-
of-the Art Report, May 16, 1983, National Institute of
Building Sciences.
2. NFPA 92A, Recommended Practice for Smoke Control
Systems, 1996 Edition.
3. Design of Smoke Management Systems, 1992 Edition,
J. H. Klote and James A. Milke; ASHRAE, Inc., and
Society of Fire Protection Engineers, Inc.
ADDITIONAL RELATED PUBLICATIONS
1. Smoke Management, Chapter 48, ASHRAE 1995 HVAC
Applications Handbook.
2. NFPA 72 National Fire Alarm Code, 1996 Edition.
3. NFPA 90A, Installation of Air Conditioning and
Ventilating Systems, 1996 Edition.
4. NFPA 92B, Guide for Smoke Management Systems in
Malls, Atria, and Large Areas, 1995 Edition.
5. NFPA 101, Life Safety Code, 1994 Edition.
6. Smoke Control in Fire Safety Design, A. G. Butcher and
A. C. Parnell, E. & F. N. Spon Ltd, 11 New Fetter Lane,
London EC4P 4EE, 1979.
7. Smoke Control Technology, Code 88146, ASHRAE,
1989.
8. UL 555, Standard for Fire Dampers and Ceiling Dampers,
Fifth Edition, 1995 Revision.
9. UL 555S, Standard for Leakage Rated Dampers for Use
In Smoke Control Systems, Third Edition, 1996 Revision.
10. UL 864, Standard for Control Units for Fire-Protective
Signaling Systems (UL Category UUKL), Eighth Edition,
1996 Revision.
11. ASHRAE Guideline 5-1994, Commissioning Smoke
Management Systems, ISSN 1049 894X.
12. NFPA Fire Protection Handbook, 17th Edition, 1991.
13. Smoke Movement and Control in High-Rise Buildings,
George T. Tamura, P.E.; NFPA, Quincy Massachusetts,
December 1994; Library of Congress 94-069542; NFPA
SCHR-94; ISB: 0-87765-401-8.
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