FAQs

Your questions answered:

How do I become IFC SDI 19 Certified?

In July 2018 IFC Certification Ltd launched the IFC Certification SDI 19 scheme for companies who install, service or maintain of smoke control systems.

The scheme document, available from IFC Certification Ltd - http://www.ifccertification.com,  provides the specific requirements of the IFC Certification SDI 19 scheme for installers of smoke control systems. IFC Certification has produced this scheme to ensure a suitable and acceptable level of competency with regard to fire strategy verification, system design and the installation, service or maintenance of smoke control systems.

The SCA has made it a mandatory requirement that all members that carry out the installation, service or maintenance of Smoke Ventilation systems must join the IFC SDI 19 Installer scheme and must apply and have been accepted before joining the SCA.

Further information, scheme document and application form is available by contacting info@smokecontrol.org.uk

What advice does the SCA have for AOV – Smoke Vent testing?

The SCA recommends that maintenance of smoke ventilation systems, including automatic opening vents (AOVs), be undertaken by competent organisations that are both members of the SCA, and accredited to IFC Certification Ltd's third party installers scheme SDI 19. The SCA recommends you engage with an SCA member to provide access to competent engineers with the knowledge to help you service any smoke vent systems in your property portfolio.

How do I become an SCA Member?

Click here to download the HEVAC/Smoke Control Application Form.

Additional information/fees for the Smoke Control Association SCA
To become a member of The Smoke Control Association, you will also need to complete the following application form. The additional fee to part-fund the SCA consultants (details available on request).

If your company is an installer of Smoke Ventilation System it is a mandatory requirement of the SCA that you must also join the SDI 19 Smoke Installer scheme before applying to join the SCA. As long as you have applied to join the SDI 19 scheme and been accepted you can then apply to join the SCA also.

What is the importance of a well-designed smoke control system?

If there is a fire, a well-designed smoke control system can save lives and help protect property. It will:

  • Keep escape and access routes free from smoke.
  • Facilitate fire-fighting operations.
  • Delay or prevent flashover, reducing the risk of the fire developing further.
  • Protect the contents of the building.
  • Reduce the risk of damage to the building.
What are some of the different types of system?

Mechanical Overview

Mechanical smoke ventilation systems use powered elements such as fans to force the movement of smoke to allow it to escape through dampers, grills and vents. Mechanical systems generally utilise a smoke shaft and are often more efficient, sometimes requiring a very small smoke shaft.
A mechanical system is useful where space is at a premium and/or natural airflow is insufficient to achieve the required performance.

Natural Overview Natural smoke ventilation uses the inherent buoyancy of hot smoke and the airflow dynamics of smoke and air to remove smoke. The use of Automatic Opening Vents (AOVs) at a high level within a building allows smoke to escape from the building when a fire is detected at the vents are automatically opened.
This approach allows the existing building façade, including windows, to be used as an integral element of the smoke ventilation strategy and is particularly useful in building with large atria.

Smoke and Heat Exhaust Ventilation Systems (SHEVS).
Whether these are natural or powered, they remove smoke from the building. Inlet ventilators, dampers and ductwork are also often integrated into the scheme.

Smoke Containment Systems.
These prevent the movement of smoke and heat from one area to another. They take the form either of physical barriers such as smoke curtains or fire curtains, or as pressure differential systems, also known as pressurisation systems.

Car Park Ventilation Systems. Induction/Impulse (or jet) fans clear smoke from enclosed or underground car parks. These are often combined with fume ventilation to prevent the build-up of vehicle exhaust gases in normal day to day use of the car park. Louvres, dampers, and powered smoke extraction fans are also often integrated into the scheme.

The chairman of the Smoke Control Association says: "Smoke is the greatest threat in a fire. A fire can fill an area of 10,000m2 with smoke within minutes. 5 breaths are all it could take to lose consciousness. Effective smoke control saves lives".

For further types of systems see ‘Members area’

Does the SCA have a complaints procedure?

 SCA complaints procedure

In raising standards by the introduction of membership criteria in 2018 and the introduction of a certification scheme for the installation (or maintenance) of smoke control systems, the SCA has developed this complaints procedure to deal with any complaints received. 

  1. Any complaint received by the Smoke Control Association against a member should be logged by the SCA Technical Manager. 
  2. The SCA will ask the complainant if the two parties have discussed the complaint. 
  3. The complaints procedure will focus on the 10 membership criteria and the complainant will have to identify which criteria their complaint applies to. 
  4. Complaints about installation/maintenance could be referred onto IFC Certification Ltd to deal with in their “certified installers” complaints procedure.
  5. Complaints about product supply need to be referred onto Trading Standards.
  6. Complaints are classified under three categories as follows: 
    1. Product supply related – SCA to forward to Trading Standards 
    2. Installation or maintenance by an SCA member - SCA refer the complaint onto IFC C Ltd to resolve in an audit 
    3. Admin related complaint - SCA deals with it via the membership criteria 
  7. A complaint concerning the IFC SDI 19 certification scheme would start with a desk top exercise where evidence/photos are requested, and the complaint then processed. 
  8. The SCA will have a proforma letter for complaints SCA members may make about non-members so that the SCA Technical Manager can bring any complaints to the attention of the non-member company 

The above structure proposed and approved by the SCA at their meeting on 15 July 2020 

SCA / FETA 
15 July 2020

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