Product focus – 6000/DCM Smoke/Fire Damper Control Module

The UK government has pledged 3.7 billion pounds ($5.1 billion) to build 40 new hospitals by 2030. Elsewhere in the construction industry, the UK Government is also carrying out an in-depth review into high rise buildings following the Grenfell disaster. These are all sectors of the construction industry that utilise damper systems to control the spread of fire and smoke within a building. So, if you are in the fire protection industry and are tendering for contracts in these sectors, you will likely come across a fire damper and control equipment.

A Fire damper is a simple but effective way of controlling a fire and is imperative in preventing the spread. Combined systems are popular in the construction industry. It can prove troublesome to install/maintain two or three systems on-site over one integrated solution. Step in the 6000/DCM (Damper Control Module), which incorporates the damper system into the addressable fire alarm system. However, it also offers more than that; here, we explain what they do and how they do it. But let us start with the most critical question; why?

Share
10/09/21
6000/DCM Fire Damper Control Module

Why use a smoke/fire damper?

First of all, let’s talk about why we have smoke/fire dampers. In a fire situation, most lives are taken not from fire but from smoke inhalation, as typically it will be the smoke that gets to someone before the fire does. For this reason, smoke/ fire dampers are introduced to a building as part of its ventilation system. They prevent the spread of smoke and fire by utilising the ventilation system to control the flow of smoke between zones or even extract it from the building.

 

Ventilation Damper

 

How does a smoke/fire damper work?

Fire dampers are pivoting plates that sit in a ventilation shaft. These plates open or close through the use of a motor. A conventional damper control module drives these motors; however, the fire alarm system may need to govern the motors in some cases. The 6000/DCM is Protec’s addressable solution which directly connects to new or existing dampers and automates their opening and closing as and when required in a fire situation.

 

What does the 6000/DCM offer to smoke/fire dampers?

 

Wall Mounted Protec 6000/DCM

Safety

As the 6000/DCM is a fire protection device, it has specific measures to meet. One of these being it has to be fail-safe, and that means if there is a loss of power to the device, the system can fail-safe to the damper’s designated state (set at commission time). As with all the products we produce, we ensure all devices initiate their correct functions when required. We validate this by our devices carrying a host of accreditations and certifications. The 6000/DCM is certified to EN 54 parts 17 & 18 with the European CE Mark. It is also pending UKCA approval, ready for the end of the CE transition period in December 2022, ensuring a compliant system far into the future.

 

Versatility

230 Volts or 24 Volts is a question you get asked when specifying a damper unit; Regardless, you don’t want to be caught out with several 24V dampers control units but only 230V supplies on site. The Protec Damper Control Module offers the ability to use an AC supply and DC as well. The unit can control a 24 Volt DC damper, or should the site have 230 Volt AC dampers, you can still use the same device. This innovative solution means it’s one less thing to think about when specifying your damper control system.

 

Flexibility

Dampers don’t always come in a two-position, open and closed unit. Dampers also come in more complex three-position dampers, which offer three different states. Just like the 230 Volt and 24 Volt scenarios we previously mentioned, you don’t want the wrong controller for the dampers you have. It is why the 6000/DCM offers the flexibility to connect to both two and three-position dampers. Making the 6000/DCM a perfect solution regardless of the dampers you have.

 

Full individual smoke/fire damper control

Timing is imperative in the fire safety industry. Knowing this, we know timing can also form part of the cause & effects of the building. These cause & effects prove imperative to evacuate large premises like hospitals or contribute to phased evacuations in high-rise buildings. That’s why our 6000/DCM not only features fully monitored inputs that can utilise various outputs in a building, but the module also comes complete with an integral delay feature. The delay feature is settable from 60 seconds to 240 seconds, negating the need for additional timers required for the system.

 

3rd Party Friendly

Restrictions are always a pain, and we understand that. Therefore the 6000/DCM offers clean contact input and outputs for linking to other external 3rd party systems. It means you aren’t tied into monitoring or controlling each damper unit with just Protec specific equipment. However, we still leave some element of safety, providing loop control precedence. It ensures the damper activates should it be in the wrong position if a fire breaks out.

NFC Programming App

NFC Programming

To enhance configuration speed and make the whole process more user friendly, the 6000/DCM includes configuration via Near Field Communication programming (NFC). The NFC programming is all possible using downloadable software to any Android device via our support portal. The use of NFC offers maximum flexibility to interface to a wide range of damper actuator types and visually configure the device’s settings.

 

Graphically pleasing

We will be the first to admit the 6000/DCM isn’t the most visually pleasing of our fire alarm devices. It’s just a big grey box with no distinguishing features. However, it makes up for this with the ability to feature in a front-end graphics system, which is easier for the eye. The introduction of fire dampers to a front-end graphics package (such as our Hercules 6) enables the user to see the status of a fire damper in a matter of seconds through the site-specific maps. These maps are graphical representations of the building highlighting each fire device location, allowing entire interrogation and control of the system in most cases.

 

Want to know more about the Protec 6000 addressable smoke/fire damper control module?

So there we have it, the 6000/DCM, seen as just a big grey box on the wall. In truth, this grey box can prove imperative in the evacuation of a building through its simple but innovative way of controlling the buildings ventilation system in a fire scenario and, in turn, save lives. It offers just more than an open and close damper switch, from its fully monitored inputs to the versatility of its operational Voltage. For more detailed technical information on our 6000/DCM, head over to our products pages or if you want to know how we can utilise the 6000/DCM on your building project, contact our sales team today.