Smoke Control Systems

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In a fire, smoke creates significant obstacles and increases the time it takes for building occupants to get to safety. Every minute in a fire evacuation is critical and studies show that many fire deaths are caused by smoke inhalation. Smoke control systems are critical in helping occupants avoid smoke when evacuating a building. It is equally important that smoke control systems are designed, installed, tested, and maintained in accordance with the applicable codes and standards that are enforced in your local jurisdiction.

Smoke control model of tenability conditions.


Over the lifetime of a building, smoke control systems may not be maintained properly in conformance with the original design intent. Building owners may not understand the type of system originally installed, record documentation may be misplaced or non-existent, and some find the complexity of the existing system cumbersome to maintain.

Evaluation of Current Systems

Coffman recommends a licensed fire protection engineer evaluate existing smoke control systems or provide engineering analysis for new smoke control systems. Coffman’s experience includes the valuable perspective of different stakeholders in a building’s smoke control system, understanding of the smoke control design, construction, and inspection process, and lessons we have learned from our work on existing and new smoke control systems across various building types.

Download our free “Commonly Asked Questions Guides” on existing and new smoke control systems and maintenance.

Coffman’s Smoke Control System consulting includes the following Fire Protection Engineering and Mechanical Engineering services:

  • Evaluation of existing smoke control systems.
  • Assessment of existing deficiencies.
  • Recommendations for maintaining an existing smoke control system.
  • Design approval as Mechanical Engineer of Record of smoke control systems for any modifications or confirmations.
  • Project management of the replacement and/or maintenance of the system.
  • Deputy/Special inspections as required by the IBC and IFC for smoke control systems.
  • Development of Rational Analysis reports detailing design approaches, compliance, and jurisdictional agreements, where upgrades or modifications to existing systems are required.

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