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Smoke and Heat Vents

Smoke and heat vents play a crucial role in fire safety, as mandated by some Annual Fire Safety Statements (AFSS). These mechanisms form part of the passive fire protection system, working hand-in-hand with other elements like sprinklers, fire alarms, and emergency exit routes to provide a comprehensive fire response strategy.

Smoke and heat vents, also referred to as smoke vents or smoke extractors, are designed to vent smoke and heat out of a building during a fire incident. When a fire occurs, heat, smoke, and hot gases rise to the ceiling, creating a plume of hot gases which can impede visibility and threaten the structural integrity of the building. The vents open (either manually or automatically via heat sensors), allowing the smoke and heat to escape, which helps to preserve the building's structure and enhance visibility for occupants and responding emergency services.

These vents must be maintained regularly as part of fire safety measures. In New South Wales (NSW), for example, the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 mandates the submission of an Annual Fire Safety Statement (AFSS) by building owners. The AFSS confirms that the essential fire safety measures, such as smoke and heat vents, have been inspected by a properly qualified person, found to be performing satisfactorily, and were properly maintained throughout the year.