How often should an AOV be tested?

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AOV smoke control systems, whether natural or mechanical, need to be tested both weekly and monthly. The frequency of tests and what should be checked are set out within the British and European Standards relevant for smoke control systems. These are; BS 7346-8:2013, BS 9999:2017 and the applicable parts of BS EN 12101.


Weekly tests of the smoke ventilation system should be carried out by a “responsible person” (generally a building owner, manager or FM) to check the operation of the system.

Check that natural vents open, smoke dampers close and any smoke curtains deploy. For mechanical smoke vent systems, checks should be made to determine whether the fans are running satisfactorily and that the ventilation system has operated. Where there is a backup generator in place, the fuel level should be checked and topped up as necessary.


During the monthly tests, the failure of the primary power supply should be simulated, and a check made that the system has automatically switched over to the secondary power supply.

Where the secondary supply is via a backup generator or power cell (battery or UPS), the secondary supply must be able to power the system for a minimum of three hours. Additionally, simulate a zero-airflow condition to check that the system switches automatically to the standby fan/s and that they are running satisfactorily.

Three Monthly (depending on the size of the building)

In addition to the monthly tests, all zones should be separately tested to ensure correct operation of all individual equipment. If the rotation system of the weekly inspections ensures testing of all the zones within a 3-month period, this inspection is deemed to be satisfied.

Six Monthly

Six monthly inspections and testing should be carried out by a competent person trained in smoke control systems. This testing will include a full functional check for equipment correctly operating and verified against the design cause & effect. Upon completion, a smoke control testing certificate should be issued.


An annual test and inspection should be carried out by a competent person trained in smoke control systems. In addition to the checks carried out at the 6 monthly tests, performance tests are conducted. Upon completion, an annual service certificate and relevant performance test certificates should be provided.

Our Testing & Maintenance page gives further information as well as our free smoke control testing and maintenance log sheet.

Alternatively, you can view our Ultimate Guide to Smoke Control Maintenance blog for additional information about this essential requirement.


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