Smoke Vents

The Building Code of Australia allows the use of smoke vents in buildings to expel smoke in the event of an emergency. The use of smoke vents provides extra time at floor level for occupants to evacuate the buildings. The location of smoke vents is determined by engineers, and approved by the buildings surveyor/ building certifier, who will nominate the smoke vents in the building’s essential safety measures determination/ schedule.

Building Code of Australia

Part E3 Smoke Hazard Management references Specification E2.2b Smoke Exhaust Systems for compliance criteria relative to the installation of smoke vents. AS 2665-2001 Smoke/ heat venting systems – Design, installation and commissioning is the nominated smoke vents standard for compliance.

The following photographs depict smoke vents for installation in a building.

The following is a part extract of clause I1.1 for an Essential Safety Measure (as appeared in BCA 2013)  known as smoke vents:

Table I1.6 SAFETY MEASURES – AIR HANDLING SYSTEMS

Safety Measures BCA Provision for Determining Standard of Performance
Smoke hazard management systems

  • Automatic smoke and heat vents
E2.2

Essential Safety Measures Audit – Smoke Vents

The building surveyor’s essential safety measures determination will nominate AS 1851-2005 Maintenance of fire protection systems and equipment as the maintenance standard for smoke vents. The essential safety measures auditor should check the essential safety measures determination for frequency of inspections and review the contractors logbook required under AS 1851 for smoke vents. Upon review, any smoke vents deficiencies noted should be recorded in the building’s essential safety measures logbook to allow the signing of the Annual Statement, Annual Certificate Compliance, Annual Fire Safety Statement, Annual Maintenance Statement and Annual Occupiers Statement.