When thinking about the safety of a commercial building there are several factors to consider. You would not design a property without proper safety measures. Things such as access doors, proper fires escapes, and emergency exits are key to proper safety.
As thorough as you may be in including safety measures in your building, it’s easy to miss less obvious hazards. The very air you breathe can also become
a hazard without proper precautions and maintenance. Ventilation upkeep is an essential task of building safety.
It’s important to learn how ventilation systems can become hazardous and how to fix this issue with duct access doors.
How Unclean Ductwork Becomes Dangerous
Without proper duct access, regular maintenance becomes impossible. This allows debris to collect in the duct system which affects the overall air quality employees and guests are breathing. Ductwork debris takes many forms and can cause a variety of health and safety hazards.
Dust buildup can lead to allergies and overall employee discomfort. Plus dust can also increase the hazard of kitchen fires as the clogged ducts do not
allow for proper ventilation.
Another type of debris that can collect in ductwork is caused by animals. Animals often get inside of ductwork through both external and internal holes.
Once animals start living in ductwork, their waste and overall damage can lead to illness if employees are exposed. Illness due to unsafe work environments
can lead to costly medical care and possible legal action.
Bacteria & Mold
Molds and bacteria grow in warm, moist environments, which can make unclean ductwork an ideal location for their development. Without regular professional
upkeep, dust and animal debris can collect in the duct system. This causes an environment which is favorable for mold and bacteria.
The dangers of bacteria and mold growth cannot be overstated. If left untreated, these bacteria and molds will move through the building via the ventilation
system. Once exposed to these pathogens, employees can become unwell, develop allergies, and may even need to go to a hospital. Note that the illnesses
spread through bacteria and mold can be lethal. There have been reported cases of unclean ducts having spread MRSA and Legionnaire's Disease in the past.
As you can see, it is absolutely necessary that ducts are regularly cleaned by an accredited professional to maintain a safe environment. However, for professional cleaning and regular upkeep to be effective, access doors to the duct system are required.
How To Use Duct Access Doors To Increase Safety
It goes without saying that to successfully clean ducts you have to be able to access them. This is why access doors are so important. Duct systems run along the building's walls and ceilings. This often makes a duct system hard to reach, and the several turns, twists, and odd angles commonly found in duct systems only makes this more difficult. These hard-to-access places are where debris often gathers and molds and bacteria grow. With access doors, you can easily get to these hard-to-reach areas ensuring a clean ventilation system.
Tips For Choosing And Installing Duct Access Doors
When choosing access doors, you have to make sure they fit with the ventilation system. This means they should be the same thickness as the existing duct materials and also made of the same materials as well.
Access doors should also be installed at certain points along the ventilation system to assure access and increase overall safety. Areas to install access doors include the heating and cooling coils, control dampers, fire dampers, attenuators of all types, filters, air turning vanes, the exhaust system, duct
fans, and any areas where the direction changes.
While the sheer volume of access doors may appear excessive, it is better to be over prepared than under prepared. Before installing an access door system, always discuss your design and overall needs with a building safety expert.
Duct Access Doors For Safer Buildings
Duct access doors are not an option, but an essential part of a safe and well maintained ventilation system. Without regular cleaning and upkeep, you risk the health and even lives of the people who frequent the building. The only way for cleaning professionals to do their work is to have full access to a ventilation system. By installing duct access doors, you ensure the ducts are fully cleaned and provide safety for the entire building and the people in it.
Don’t delay! Contact the experts at Williams Brothers to learn more about how duct access doors can benefit your building.