What is a stairwell smoke vent?
A stairwell smoke vent is an AOV that provides at least 1.0m2 of free area when open. In this blog post, we will go through the most common product types of stairwell ventilators and their purposes. Additionally, you can download our Guide to Stairwell AOVs for detailed instructions on when Stairwell AOVs are suitable for use.
What are the most common types of stairwell smoke ventilators?
The louvre provides discharge of smoke and fumes through motorised blades along the length of the frame. A choice of blades is available with standard and insulated aluminium, 8mm or 16mm polycarbonate (transparent or opal) and single or double-glazed panels.
It is recommended that insulated blades and frames are used to prevent future condensation problems.
Louvred ventilator with weatherproof ventilation
The louvre provides discharge of smoke and fumes though the motorised blades along the length of the frame. Different styles of blades are available with standard and insulated aluminium, 8mm or 16mm polycarbonate (transparent or opal) and single or double-glazed panels. These weatherproof ventilators also contain separate 24V, side-mounted daily ventilation louvres to allow fresh air input without opening the whole louvre. This means that daily ventilation can be provided even in wet weather.
The hatch vent AOV provides discharge of smoke and fumes with an opening angle of 140 degrees. It is available with either a solid aluminium insulated lid or a polycarbonate translucent panel. The latter option can provide daylighting if required. The roof hatch is not usually suitable for environmental ventilation.
Actuated vertical window
It is preferable and more effective for the window to be bottom hung and outward opening.
To meet standards, it must always provide the required free area as specified in Approved Document B. A range of actuators are available, including chain drives, linear and folding arms.
These should be tested and CE marked to EN12101:2. Under the Construction Products Regulations (CPR) it is a legal requirement to use only certified products for smoke ventilation. It is the responsibility of the installer to ensure installations meet the relevant standards. For more information see SCS Group’s Technical Bulletin here.