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Natural Smoke Ventilation Systems

Natural Smoke Ventilation is a building regulations compliant solution to protecting the means of escape and providing smoke clearance in residential and commercial buildings. 

 Except in buildings that comply with Diagram 3.9 of Approved Document B, the corridor or lobby next to each stair should have a smoke vent. The location of the vent should comply with both of the following.

a. Be as high as practicable.

b. Be positioned so the top edge is at least as high as the top of the door to the stair.

Smoke vents should comply with one of the following:
a. They should be located on an external wall with minimum free area of 1.5m2.

b. They should discharge into a vertical smoke shaft, closed at the base, that meets all of the following criteria:

i. The shaft should conform to the following conditions.

• Have a minimum cross-sectional area of 1.5m2 (minimum dimension 0.85m in any direction).
• Open at roof level, minimum 0.5m above any surrounding structures within 2m of it
• Extend a minimum of 2.5m above the ceiling of the highest storey served by the shaft.



ii. The free area of all the following vents should be a minimum of 1m2 in the following places:

• From the corridor or lobby into the shaft.
• At the opening at the head of the shaft.
• At all internal locations within the shaft (e.g. safety grilles).

iii. The smoke shaft should be constructed from a class A1 material. All vents should either be a fire doorset (see Appendix C, Table C1, item 2.e of Approved Document B for minimum fire resistance) or fitted with a smoke control damper achieving the same period of fire resistance and designed to operate as described below. The shaft should be vertical from base to head, with a maximum of 4m at a maximum inclined angle of 30 degrees.

iv. If smoke is detected in the common corridor or lobby, both of the following should occur.

• Simultaneous opening of vents on the storey where the fire is located, at the top of the
smoke shaft and to the stair.
• Vents from the corridors or lobbies on all other storeys should remain closed, even if
smoke is subsequently detected on storeys other than where the fire is located.

A vent to the outside with a minimum free area of 1m2 should be provided from the top storey of
the stair.


In single stair buildings, smoke vents on the storey where the fire is initiated, and the vent at the head of the stair, should be activated by smoke detectors in the common parts.

System Components


Lobby Ventilator

Stairwell Vent

Our Multi Compartment Smoke Fire Dampers are fully compliant with BS EN 12101-8 with motor open motor close 24V DC Actuator with a fully open time of less than 30 seconds. Designed and certified for use in Builders Work Shafts our dampers come in a range of sizes to suit nearly all applications.

A Louvre Automatic Opening Vent fully compliant with BS EN 12101-2 are the perfect solution for ventilating the stairwell and can be used to provide make up air in some configurations utilising either reverse swung corridor doors or our high temperature door opener. Less effected by turbulent wind than a traditional Roof Hatch the Louvre meets Part P requirements and can be mill finished or Powder Coated to a suitable RAL colour.

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