Fire dampers (spring-loaded or electronic) must be fitted to all ventilation systems by law. The fire dampers operate in the event of a fire effectively shutting off a section of ductwork and preventing fire from spreading around the building. Over time poorly maintained fire dampers may seize and cease to work effectively when they are needed essentially putting lives at risk. 

Fire dampers should be regularly checked and maintained (minimum intervals of 12 months for standard spring-loaded systems) at which point any failed dampers can be replaced or fixed. It is the building owner’s responsibility (Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005) to ensure essential maintenance takes place and all fire dampers are recorded and have a testing procedure in place (BS9999:2017). 
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