Your Guide to Automatic Opening Ventilation Rooflights

Posted October 27, 2023 by in Home

In the event of a fire, flames, smoke and fumes can spread rapidly throughout a property, cutting off vital escape routes, impairing visibility and making it difficult for those inside to safely evacuate.

AOV systems are an essential part of smoke ventilation that can help to automatically facilitate the extraction of smoke and fumes during a fire.

To help give you a better understanding of AOV rooflights, how they work and their many benefits, we have put together this helpful, straightforward and comprehensive guide.

What Are AOV Rooflights?

Automatic Opening Ventilation (AOV) Rooflights are an electrically operated glazed units that resemble windows or skylights. They are installed in buildings as an active fire protection measure and are designed to provide natural ventilation as well as heat and smoke exhaustion. They also provide a lot of natural light which makes them a popular choice for modern builds, residential property extensions, HMO’s and commercial premises. 

Some AOV’s can also be used to provide safe roof access, which is extremely useful for maintenance, window cleaning and to reach other rooftop facilities.

How Do AOV Rooflights Work?

In the event of a fire, AOV rooflights open automatically, quickly removing smoke and harmful fumes from the building which helps to allow in fresh, cool air, preserve oxygen levels, maintain visibility and make it faster, safer and easier for occupants to escape. 

AOV rooflights are electronically operated and controlled by a central control panel which receives signals from a range of sensors such as smoke detectors, heat detectors and manual call points. By removing the smoke and heat during a fire, they protect the buildings infrastructure from collapse, allowing heat to dissipate, and clearing evacuation routes of smoke, making them an essential lifesaving component for any fire safety system.

What are the Benefits of AOV Rooflights?

Rooflights are popular for a number of reasons, providing many great benefits from not just a smoke ventilation perspective but aesthetic appearance, functionality and cost savings.

Here are some of the advantages of installing AOV rooflights when it comes to smoke ventilation;

  • AOV rooflights help to ventilate smoke, clear escape routes and making them safer for occupants to evacuate.
  • Reduce the chances of people being trapped, lost or overcome by heavy smoke.
  • Allows more time for people to evacuate and emergency services to arrive.
  • The smoke free routes they create not only helps people inside to escape but makes it much easier for the fire rescue service to access and navigate the property.
  • Can greatly reduce the amount of damage to the property, its contents, stock and equipment.
  • They can minimise injuries, smoke related injuries and fatalities.
  • Help to prevent flashovers from occurring.

There are also many additional benefits, such as;

  • They provide lots of natural light, making rooms brighter as well as appearing more spacious.
  • They can also be used as an access roof hatch.
  • Suitable for a wide range of property types from offices and warehouses to residential buildings.
  • AOV rooflights are aesthetically pleasing and come in a range of sizes, styles and materials.
  • Can be used for natural ventilation, helping to improve the indoor air quality and reduce the reliance on mechanical ventilation.
  • Making rooms brighter means that less electricity is used over time and natural ventilation helps to control temperatures which both equals a reduction in energy consumption and cost savings.

Does my Property Need an AOV Rooflight?

AOVs are essential for an effective smoke control system and should always be fitted where possible, but the legal requirements of whether or not you must have one can depend on a number of factors such as the purpose, location, size, height, type and layout of the building. 

In order to ensure that you are up to date with the latest building regulations, it is advisable to seek professional advice regarding AOV rooflights so that you can make sure that your property is safe and compliant.