Eli Howard and Geoff Parks Testify Before the Maryland General Assembly

Representatives from SMACNA’s Technical Services Department outlined their support for legislation that would increase oversight on fire life safety damper installation and inspections. 

Eli Howard, SMACNA’s Executive Director of Technical Services and Research, and Geoff Parks, Senior Project Manager, delivered testimony before the Maryland General Assembly supporting House Bill 502. HB 502 would increase oversight on fire life safety damper installation and inspections. This legislation would conversely benefit SMACNA contractors who employ Fire and Smoke Damper Technicians who are certified to perform this work.

The language of this legislation would require that each installed fire damper, smoke damper, combination fire smoke damper, or smoke control system (1) meet specified engineering practices and applicable standards and (2) be approved by the State Fire Marshal or local authority responsible for the adoption of applicable fire prevention code standards. Owners of buildings equipped with such dampers and systems must have the dampers and systems inspected and tested and must maintain inspection and testing reports. The State Fire Prevention Commission (SFPC) must adopt regulations relating to inspection and testing. In addition, the bill requires the State Fire Marshal or other specified local entities to enforce the bill’s provisions and establish a criminal penalty for violations. Finally, the bill establishes a related study and reporting requirement for the Department of General Services (DGS).

SMACNA’s recently released Fire, Smoke & Radiation Damper Manual aligns with the requirements outlined within HB-502, requiring compliance with NFPA 80, NFPA 105, and UL 555.

Take a moment to read the text of House Bill 502.