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 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 of smoke control systems.

The SCA has made it a mandatory requirement that all members that carry out the installation of Smoke Ventilation systems must join the IFC SDI 19 Installer scheme before joining the SCA.

These are the SDI 19 – Smoke installer scheme classifications added to company certificates:

  • Category 1 – Smoke control service and maintenance companies who carry out small refurbishments, remedials and replacement projects and install EN12101 compliant products and controls only.
  • Category 2 – Smoke control companies installing ADB code compliant staircase AOV systems, corridor smoke ventilation systems and simple natural smoke ventilation systems with no significant design input or CFD verification required.
  • Category 3 – Smoke control companies installing natural smoke shafts, smoke damper installations, natural smoke ventilation for atria, retail, commercial and industrial.
  • Category 4 – Smoke control companies installing complex smoke control systems including mechanical smoke shafts, pressurisation systems, mechanical smoke ventilation, car park smoke control systems and custodial smoke control systems.

Further information, scheme documents and an 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

Members are expected to uphold the high standards set by the SCA.

This document sets out the process for challenging members should they fall below these agreed standards. Examples include failure to comply with the membership criteria or agreed SCA decisions and any actions which generally undermine the SCA.

The full procedure is contained in the downloadable PDF.

Download in PDF format

What advice does the SCA have for installation of a Smoke Vent System?

 Advice on installation of a Smoke Vent System

The SCA recommends that design, installation, and commissioning of smoke ventilation systems, including automatic opening vents (AOVs), be undertaken by competent companies 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 (listed in Members Directory) to provide access to competent engineers with the knowledge to help with any smoke vent system projects. The services tab in the Members Directory has a column of SDI 19 certified installers, and a second column shows those who also offer a design service.