FeaturedFire & Hazard ProtectionNewsWindows & Doors

The Different Types of AOV’s Explained

Smoke control is an essential part of any fire safety system and is often one of the first lines of defence in the event of a fire. AOVs play an essential role in smoke ventilation and help facilitate the extraction of smoke from vital areas so that occupants can quickly and safely evacuate the building. Here we take a look at the different types of AOV systems, how they work, and which type might be the most suitable for installation on your property.

What is an AOV?

An Automatic Opening Vent or AOV is an opening such as a window or vent that is configured to be triggered either on demand with a call point/breakglass, or automatically by a sensor such as a smoke detector. When activated, these AOVs will automatically open to quickly clear heat, dangerous fumes, and, of course, smoke. Here are some of the many reasons why removing smoke and improving visibility is so important and why AOVs are so critical:

  • Clearing escape routes such as stairwells, corridors, and lobbies helps people inside to safely evacuate.
  • Lowers the chances of occupants becoming overwhelmed by smoke, smoke-related injuries, and fatalities.
  • Reduces the effects of severe heat on the premises, including damage to the building and its contents.
  • Helps emergency services to quickly locate and tackle the blaze.
  • Can delay or even prevent flashovers from occurring.

Types of AOVs

Effective smoke ventilation systems can involve multiple elements from detection, triggers, and controls through to the AOVs, the best type of which can depend on factors such as the size, type, and use of the building, as well as its layout. Here are some varieties of Automatic Opening Vents that can be used to produce efficient smoke ventilation systems:

  • AOV Windows: These windows should be manufactured to BS EN 12101-2 standards and come with the electric window actuators pre-installed as part of an audited process.  They can be fitted to vertical facades or pitched roofs and can be hung differently depending on the installation requirements.
  • AOV Glazed Louvres: Typically used in apartment blocks and commercial buildings these AOVs have drives pre-installed by the manufacturer much like the typical AOV Windows above.  Being a louvre, the vent consists of multiple blades, usually in a horizontal orientation which swivel to form the opening.
  • AOV Rooflights: Made of multi-layer polycarbonate domes or glass panes, these AOVs can be used as access hatches as well.  The domes are common in commercial buildings and flats in top floor lobbies, head of stairwells, or even smoke shafts.  Whilst the Flat glass AOVs are better looking so used in small residential developments.
  • Flat Roof Louvres:  Aluminium louvres are less common and generally cheaper options for smoke shafts.  They are supplied in common sizes but usually cannot be used for roof access.  They are not affected by wind load as much as domes and generally come with a wind shield installed, this makes them more suitable to windy areas. 

What Type of AOV Smoke Ventilation Do I Need?

When it comes to fire safety, nothing should be left to chance, which is why it is always advisable that you seek professional advice from a fire safety and smoke ventilation expert about your property. They will be able to help identify what your building needs and how best to create a robust fire safety and smoke ventilation system that will help keep your property safe and ensure compliance.


Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button