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Security & Fire Protection


Even if budgets are tight, our advice is to go for quality products. Quality products may cost more from the outset, but will outlast cheaper alternatives and pay back the costs over longer periods of time through less maintenance.


Many will also come with warranties or guarantees too. Crucially, quality fire door hardware has been tested to perform in a fire, and should, therefore, better protect the buildings.


BUILDERS MERCHANTS / RETAILERS


Again, builders merchants, like architects and specifiers, don’t generally have direct responsibility on fire door safety.


However, they do have the power to influence those in the procurement chain to ensure they only purchase certified products. For instance, this could be by simply only stocking accredited products.


Builders merchants should also be actively advising their clients and customers about the hardware they should be using on fire doors, and what to be aware of regarding that hardware.


Buyers should look for merchants who have the British Woodworking Federation’s (BWF) ‘Approved Fire Door Centre’ status. This is only credited if staff are trained to understand fire doors, building components and relevant regulations. Also, these centres commit stocking the correct ranges of components to the doors they supply.


DOOR INSTALLERS, FITTERS AND LOCKSMITHS


For installers of fire doors, fire door hardware is rapidly becoming integrated and electronic. Responsibilities are also becoming more complex and requiring more skills.


Other responsibilities of this group in the supply chain include buying the correct compatible components as recommended by the door supplier, and checking the labels and fitting instructions that came with the door.


When choosing door fitters and locksmiths, check that they are approved and qualified to install the hardware they are working with.


OTHER RESPONSIBLE PERSONS


The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRFSO) states that responsible persons for the building must ensure fire doors work correctly and are properly maintained.


Responsible persons for buildings will include, amongst others, owners, facilities managers and site managers. They should be checking fire doors regularly.


There should be checks on the gaps, fire door components, panic exits, locks, latches and door closers, ensuring they are in the optimum condition and working correctly.


Responsible Persons will also need to make sure that fire doors are not being propped open and raise awareness of the penalties for abusing fire doors.


BUILDING CONTROL, APPROVED INSPECTORS AND FIRE DEPARTMENTS


These groups are the final point in the chain, responsible for checking and assessing fire doors and approving them.


There are four crucial checks that these groups should be doing on the fire door. Firstly, check that the doorframe is the right one for the door. Secondly, the fire door’s closer needs to be compatible with the door and should latch the door back to the frame in a controlled manner. The third check is that there should be a fire door label on the door or the doorset.


Finally, the gap between the fire door leaf and frame should be checked. This should not be more than 3mm all around the door. Too often, gaps are greater than they should be, allowing fire and smoke to pass through the door during a fire.


ALLEGION


TEL: 0121 380 2400 39


WWW.ALLEGION.COM


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