At Trade Access Panels, we are often asked questions from customers regarding the different AOV Smoke Vents that we supply. We have tried to note down the most frequently asked questions below to hopefully assist you: -

AOV SMoke Vents explained

Q) What specification do the AOV smoke vents meet

A) Designed, fully tested and certified in accordance with EN 12101-2. Mardome Smoke Vents meet standards for safety, security, non-fragility and fire safety and we offer the full guarantee of an established, accredited UK manufacturer.

Q) Do you sell AOV’s for a Pitched Roof?/h2>

A) We do not currently offer any AOV’s for pitched roofs.

Q) Can I use my AOV for access onto the roof?

A) As standard, the AOV would arrive on site with the actuator in the centre of the AOV and therefore gaining access through the AOV onto the roof would be extremely difficult. We can however reposition the actuator to either the left or right hand side if access onto the roof would be required.

Q) Is there any Building Regulation information that I need to be aware of?

A) This is a tricky one and we suggest that expert advice is taking if in doubt. Please also see link to an article on the topic of AOV smoke vent building regulations which may be of assistance to you.

Q) How does an AOV system actually work?

A) Basically, a AOV smoke vents would be used mainly to control the ventilation of smoke in the event of a fire. Recent changes to Building Regulations in the UK have been made due to the results of investigations into smoke inhalation and the devastating effects that this has on health (research has discovered that more deaths are caused due to smoke inhalation than the fire itself). When a smoke detector is triggered, the AOV will open automatically to create ventilation and allow the smoke to escape. AOV’s are often fitted in stairways. Smoke vents are designed to basically clear all the fire escape lobbies and stair cases of any smoke. They are usually located near to stairs when venting a lobby and always at the head of a stairs. Approved Document Part B explains the travel distances and what height of building has to have lobby ventilation. Any apartment above 1 storey and with at least 2 addresses within it will have to 100% have at least a head of stairs 1.0 meter square smoke vent which can either be an EN12101-2 aluminium chain driven window or an EN12101-2 roof vent/roof hatch depending on the aperture available in the stair case. Always better to vent through the roof using a hatch if the option is there.

Q) How often should an AOV be tested?

A) It is recommended that an AOV system is regularly serviced and maintained by specialised personnel on a regular basis. The AOV should also be serviced at least once every 12 months. AOV’s according to BS9999 Appendix I have to be tested weekly with a log book filled in and left on site (can be one zone) then after 3 months a full test and log filled in and left on site (smoke test and all zones). Every 12 months requires a full test and service by a competent AOV or Fire Alarm specialist with a sign off sheet and a log left on the site .

Q) How quick is delivery?

A) We aim to deliver stock AOV’s within 4-7 working days. If you order a bespoke size then the lead-time can be up to 6 weeks from Order for manufacture. The control units can be also delivered within 3-5 working days as these are also stock items.

Q) I can see you offer a few ranges of AOV. What is the difference?

A) We offer AOV’s from Brett Martin/MardomeSurespan. The main difference is that they are all polycarbonate with a roof ‘window’ other than Surespan which have an aluminium lid and therefore offer no light transmission.

Q) I have an unusual size requirement, can you make me a bespoke AOV?

A) We can make bespoke AOV’s in either aluminium or polycarbonate however the lead-time will be around 4-6 weeks from receipt of Order and the cost reflects on each bespoke case.

Q) How much will delivery cost?

A) We include FREE delivery to Mainland UK during normal weekday working hours. If your Panel is to be delivered outside of Mainland UK then please us know the full delivery address so that we can provide delivery costs accordingly. At checkout on our website, some of the UK (Mainly Scottish Highlands) may calculate a delivery charge for you.

Q) What Guarantee or Warranty will my AOV be covered by?

A) As standard, AOV smoke vents would come with a 10 year guarantee however please note that this is subject to the product being fitted in accordance with the manufacturers instruction and that it has been correctly maintained and serviced.

Q) Are all polycarbonate AOV’s listed on the website in Stock?

A) Yes all polycarbonate AOV’s which we have listed on the website (stock size panels) are in stock; however they are not assembled until point of Order hence the 5-7 working day lead-time.

Q) I need a control panel. Do you supply these?

A) We do indeed. We can supply control panels which operation one single AOV or control panels which can operate two AOV’s. We can also offer controls for much larger projects (please get in touch if you have a specific requirement).

Q) Do you have a fireman’s switch which is of an anti-tamper type to prevent miss-usage and vandalism

A) Yes we offer a nice Red metal FB2 box which takes an FB2 key for London Firemen

Q) Does it come with everything I need?

A) The AOV will come as standard with a 300mm upstand and all necessary wiring to connect to a control panel. You can add a control panel and other accessories including Smoke Sensor and Fire Switch as required.

Q) What size hole do I need to cut for the AOV unit?

A) The size of hole you cut in your roof is the size of AOV unit you order (nominal rooflight size) – see diagram

Q) Should I go for Double or Triple Glazing?

A) Triple layers will reduce solar gain, lower the u value and decrease sound reduction. They also reduce the light transmission slightly. So if you are trying to keep the heat loss down go for the Triple layer. Also a triple layer will meet current Building Regulations.

Q) what is the difference between Clear and Textured/Diffused?

A) Basically, Clear allows you to see straight through the Rooflight, like a window, whereas Textured/Diffused can be thoughts of similarly to a bathroom window where daylight comes through the window but you cannot see through it.