Sunday, 31 May 2015

1998 Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR Roadster to be offered at Bonhams Festival of Speed


When Mercedes-Benz first unveiled its CLK GTR Roadster in 1998 it sold for an astonishing $1.5 million dollars, making it the most expensive production car ever, a figure only recently exceeded by the Ferrari FXX.

Bonhams Festival of Speed sale will offer the very first example of the Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR Roadster ever built, estimated at £1,400,000 - £1,800,000.

James Knight, Bonhams Group Motoring Director, said:
“The car was retained by the Mercedes-Benz company until 2014 when it was acquired by the current owner. It is effectively a new car with just eight kilometres on the odometer, and it is the only one of the six roadsters to be finished in black. We rarely see a car with these credentials come to market.”
An open topped variant of the already super-exclusive CLK GTR Coupe – only 25 road going cars were ever produced – the Roadster was made in a very limited edition indeed. The company had the simple but effective idea of removing the roof and installing two roll-over bars and additional strengthening, plus the Roadster engine boasted an engine increased to 640bhp (40 horsepower more than the Coupé) and a Formula 1-style, sequential six-speed transmission controlled by paddles on the steering wheel.

At the end of the 1996 racing season, Mercedes-Benz switched from racing touring cars to sports cars, a decision that left precious little time to develop a challenger for the FIA's (International Automobile Federation) new GT Championship. The latter's regulations stipulated that 'GT1' category cars had to be production based, so development was entrusted to Mercedes-Benz's official performance division, AMG. Amazingly, just 128 days after design work had commenced in December 1996, the first Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR took to the track at Jarama in April 1997 for its initial test.


The CLK GTR first won at the challenging Nurburgring in June 1997, going on to win five more of the 11 rounds to take the GT Championship in its debut year. With a new CLK LM (Le Mans) waiting in the wings, the CLK GTR raced just twice in 1998, before being retired from active duty after little more than a season's racing, but with an impeccable record.

During 1998 and 1999, Mercedes-Benz duly completed 25 road going CLK GTRs. These closely resembled the racing version but had 'only' 550bhp and dispensed with the racer's separate rear wing in favour of a body-integral design. They were also better equipped and kitted out with more creature comforts than the racer. With a headline-grabbing price tag of over $1,000,000, the CLK GTR's exclusivity was surpassed only by its incredible performance.

Bonhams Festival of Speed Sale takes place on 26 June in Goodwood, Chichester. For more information visit www.bonhams.com.


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Saturday, 30 May 2015

Hörmann bids to raise awareness of dementia


Fundraisers at garage and industrial door manufacturer Hörmann have been out in force, generating valuable funds for the company’s 2015 charity partner Alzheimer’s Society.

Last month, 17 brave staff members took part in the gruelling Farmageddon Run in Melton Mowbray, covering a distance of either 5k or 10k, while overcoming obstacles such as hay bale towers, streams and mud crawls.

Amy Fisher, estimating manager, commented:
 “I saw the event advertised on Facebook and thought it would be perfect for us as an Alzheimer’s Society fundraiser. Since we launched the charity partnership, everyone has been really keen to get involved, so it was fairly easy to get a good team together.”
The challengers, who took part from across the whole business, ran together in teams of 3-4 based on their chosen distance and running experience. Their hard work certainly paid off, raising over £2000 for the deserving cause.

Abigail Cooper, marketing assistant, said:
“The atmosphere was amazing. It was incredibly tough in places, particularly the log-carrying section, but we all felt such a strong sense of achievement at the end. Having your colleagues cheer you across the finish line is a pretty good feeling too!”
Currently incurable, dementia affects around 44 per cent of the population and is the single biggest killer of women in the UK. Hörmann is keen to emphasise the important work of the Alzheimer’s Society, which provides support and advice for families living with dementia as well as funding vital research into the condition.

Employees have already taken part in a pub quiz and ‘bake-off’ style event and plans are in place for further fundraisers. Hörmann hopes to launch a 50/50 club, organise a company-wide barbeque and continue the physical challenges with the Twilight Run, which takes place in Market Harborough in September.

For more information on Hörmann’s partnership with Alzheimer’s Society, visit www.hormann.co.uk, or to find out about the charity, visit www.alzheimers.org.uk.



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Friday, 29 May 2015

Moving forward >> new President for the GAI


The Guild of Architectural Ironmongers (GAI) AGM and Conference was held mid-May at the stunning Tortworth Court Hotel, in Gloucestershire: both business and celebration were on the agenda.

The business session took place on Saturday morning and was well attended by Guild members, new and old. Maria Powell, Managing Director of the Lorient Group – a respected designer and manufacturer of architectural door seals was appointed Guild President for the next two years. Maria took up her tenure with immediate effect; and paid tribute to the valuable contribution of outgoing President John Jefferies during his term of office.

In Maria’s inaugural speech, she discussed the ways in which Architectural Ironmongers are working smarter with new technology and the future possibilities for business. She outlined her plans to make the GAI more innovative and dynamic – starting with a new website and a complete transformation taking place in the delivery method of the education portfolio; as well as seeking to attract a new generation of Architectural Ironmongers.

Tortworth Court Hotel

On her new appointment Maria said:
“It is a great honour for me to accept this role and I look forward to building on the tremendous work undertaken by John Jefferies over the past two years; and delivering some ground-breaking new initiatives for the Guild. I believe that these are very exciting times for the Architectural Ironmongery industry and I hope that I can contribute to the delivery of robust plans for the GAI both here in the UK and throughout the world.

Our agenda is challenging, but I’m supported by Gary Amer, David Stacey as my Vice President; and Mario Del Signore as National Chairman of the Institute of Architectural Ironmongers, along with a wonderful team in London. Together we are committed to achieving the right kind of progress for all of our members”.

The theme of the event was Fast Forward – designed to explore the acceleration of change and what it means for business and the Architectural Ironmongery industry at large. A number of highly entertaining activities were scheduled throughout the weekend.

But the highlight for most was the Keynote Speaker Richard Noble OBE, and his awe-inspiring talk about the truly iconic Bloodhound Project – an engineering adventure aimed at developing the ultimate land speed record car on four wheels and to be the first vehicle to break the 1000mph barrier. His dedication and passion for British engineering, design & innovation, R&D, education and encouraging STEM apprenticeships was overwhelming and struck a chord with the entire audience. Lorient was delighted to jointly sponsor the Keynote speaker, sharing so many principles and core values with the project.

Bloodhound SSC (image copyright Flock and Siemens)

The GAI is the UK’s only trade body solely dedicated to promoting the interests of the whole architectural ironmongery industry. The event attracted the industry’s key players from both the manufacturing and distribution sectors; and was thoroughly enjoyed by all.



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Thursday, 28 May 2015

Garage door safety concerns come under BBC TV spotlight

Consumer Champion Dom Littlewood in the BBC TV campaigning programme
"Don’t Get Done, Get Dom"

As many as a third of all powered roller shutter garage doors in the UK are unsafe and not fit for purpose, it was revealed in the BBC TV consumer programme Don't Get Done, Get Dom.

In the programme yesterday (May 27th), Door & Hardware Federation (DHF) technical specialist Nick Perkins told consumer champion Dom Littlewood that the DHF is working closely with Trading Standards to tackle the problem.

Nick Perkins was invited onto the programme to give expert advice on a householder’s automatic garage door that was not fit for purpose. The garage door had failed to stop descending when it encountered an obstruction - in this case the householder’s car. He incurred costs to have the door repaired by the non-DHF member company that originally installed the door. He subsequently had to have a completely new garage door installed by a different company who is a member of the DHF Garage Door Group.

Nick Perkins from the DHF gives householders
valuable advice on domestic garage door safety
to consumer champion Dom Littlewood
in the BBC TV campaigning programme
Don’t Get Done, Get Dom.
When Nick Perkins examined video footage of the original door he told Dom Littlewood: “This made me cringe, you can imagine someone losing a finger. This door was not fit for purpose and would not have been safe nor legally compliant. 
He said the DHF, which represents the UK’s leading suppliers and installers of domestic garage doors, is aware of “a high number of substandard doors in the market at the moment. We are working with Trading Standards to address this problem. As many as a third of the garage doors on the market are indeed not fit for purpose and are not safe.”

In the TV programme, consumer lawyer Kevin Poulter spelled out the rights of the consumer who has a product that is not fit for purpose. He has the right for a full refund within a short period of time following purchase, or partial refund or exchange after a longer period. After that, he said, it is up to the consumer to prove that something is not fit for purpose and that could involve getting experts involved. If the company involved rejects a claim that the product is not fit for purpose then the complaint should be escalated to a higher level by getting Trading Standards involved.

On the programme Nick Perkins advised viewers that there are three ways of ensuring their automatic garage door is fit for purpose and is safe:
  • Use of the “hold to run” function where a button or switch placed in direct view of the door has to be held down to enable the garage door to continue ascending or descending
  • If the door opens or closes automatically at the touch of the button then there needs to be a sensitive edge at the bottom of the door or an intelligent drive unit that will halt and retract the door if it encounters an obstacle
  • If the garage door is on a timer and is set to close after a pre-determined time, then there should be both leading edge touch sensitivity and a light detection beam across the garage entrance.
For more information on domestic garage door safety contact the DHF on 01827 52337 or visit www.dhfonline.org.uk .

To watch the May 27th Don't Get Done, Get Dom visit the link below:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b05xcwy1/dont-get-done-get-dom-series-9-18-fit-for-purpose





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Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Yale Launches AutoSecure Multipoint Lock


Yale Door and Window Solutions has launched AutoSecure, an innovative new multipoint lock designed to help protect properties and keep residents safe and secure.

The new Yale AutoSecure multipoint lock delivers improved resident security and reduces maintenance call outs and fees for social landlords, thanks to an automatic mechanism which fires all locking points at once.

This reliable new door locking system features a central hook to provide added security and offers a reduced risk of crimes where residents have been followed, as once the door is closed all the hooks throw instantly.

With no need to lift the handle due to opposing hooks, the ease of operation of the AutoSecure is a major benefit for residents with limited strength or poor hand dexterity.

Paul Atkinson, Sales Director of Yale Door and Window Solutions, comments:
“As experts in the multipoint lock market, we’ve been able to draw on the proven successful technology of the tried and tested Yale Lockmaster, Britain’s best selling multipoint door locking system, when developing the Yale AutoSecure.

“The AutoSecure features an auto-firing mechanism that provides added security. This fires all locking points at once, but has been carefully controlled to prevent the hooks throwing early and damaging the frame.“
The new lock also has a passage mode feature. This ‘hold back’ option is beneficial to social landlords as an alternative to thrown locks as it greatly reduces wear and tear inside the lock and damage to the door frame.

The Yale AutoSecure has a branded stainless steel faceplate to deliver extensive corrosion resistance, further enhancing product service life, even in aggressive environments, and is backed by the Yale 10 year guarantee.

Available in 16mm or 20mm faceplate widths and with 35mm or 45mm backsets, it is suitable for the majority of today’s composite or timber door systems and is fully PAS 24 compliant.

For further information on the Yale AutoSecure multipoint lock please contact the Yale Door and Window Solutions specification team on 01242 221200 or visit www.yaledoorandwindowsolutions.co.uk



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Tuesday, 26 May 2015

KitLock jumps into action at AirHop Trampoline Park

Enjoy a game of trampoline Dodgeball at AirHop

When Nick Collier, general manager of AirHop, needed a more robust, user-friendly solution to replace inadequate keyless locker locks in use at his busy venue, KitLock ticked all the right boxes.

AirHop is one of the first indoor trampoline parks to open in the UK. Its massive indoor arena in Guildford, Surrey, is fitted wall-to-wall with 49 interconnected trampolines and has three other bounce areas. Visitors, young or old, can enjoy a bounce, a game of trampoline Dodgeball or try Basketball Slam Dunk. There is also a foam pit, where the brave can perfect their aerial stunts.

No keys allowed

Participants are not allowed to carry locker keys with them while taking part in any activities due to the risk of personal injury and the fact that the keys might puncture the trampoline beds. For these reasons, AirHop provides its customers with keyless lockers to secure their personal belongings while they enjoy the facilities.


Easy-to-use, robust keyless lockers
However, over time, the coded locks originally fitted to the lockers failed to keep up with the volume of customers using the lockers day-in, day-out, and kept breaking. On top of their unreliability, the locks were not very user friendly, so there was a constant requirement for staff to explain to customers how to use them.

When Nick Collier, general manager, saw KitLock keyless locker locks in use at another facility, he knew it was time for a change. “We needed a much more robust solution and one that would not take up too much of our employees’ time,” said Nick. “When I saw the KitLock 1000 locks, I thought they looked fantastic and ticked all the boxes for affordability and style. I immediately contacted Codelocks for help.”

KitLock to the rescue

Customers enter their four-digit code, then ‘lock and go’.
KitLock is a robust, easy-to-use electronic locking system specifically designed for securing lockers. Customers simply enter their personal four-digit code on the keypad, then ‘lock and go’. When it’s time to leave, the customer enters their code again and the locker opens. The code is then automatically erased, leaving the locker free for the next customer to use.

The KitLock 1000 lock has 11 individual round buttons and an LED light that flashes red when in use, so it’s easy to see at a glance which lockers are vacant. If customers forget their code, AirHop employees can use a technician code to open the locker without erasing the user code. This feature is useful when a customer isn’t sure which locker is theirs – a technician code will allow the staff member to check the contents of several lockers without impacting any of the access codes.

Help with installation

James Bowden (left), service manager at Codelocks
demonstrates KitLock to Nick Collier, general manager at AirHop.
In order to get the KitLock coded locks installed and working as quickly as possible, Codelocks provided AirHop with an installation service. On the day, Codelocks technical staff gave detailed demonstrations on how to operate the locks, make an annual battery change and perform other simple maintenance tasks. Easy-to-follow instruction stickers were placed inside each locker to make it easier for customers to use.

Positive feedback
“The service we received from Codelocks was brilliant. Their technical staff were extremely helpful on the day,” continued Nick. “Our regular customers have said that KitLock is a vast improvement on what we had before. For their ease of use, I will definitely recommend them as our business develops and we open new sites in the UK.”

For more information on Kitlock coded locks visit www.kitlock.com



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Monday, 25 May 2015

Ironmongerydirect Launches Fire Door Safety Checklist


IronmongeryDirect, the UK’s largest online and mail order supplier of ironmongery products to the trade, has launched a new fire door safety checklist to equip trade professionals with all the knowledge they need to ensure a fire door remains in excellent working order.

The detailed checklist informs tradespeople on everything they need to consider when they have been tasked with installing or maintaining a fire door. From intumescent seals to hinges, locks, latches and door closers, the handy guide covers all of the essential components that are required to make a fire door fully operational and therefore compliant and legal.

With too many fire doors still being propped open illegally using unsafe equipment, the guide also focuses on the importance of installing and maintaining safe fire door holders, such as those in the Dorgard range, which are accepted for use by fire authorities.

By asking a series of questions, the easy to use checklist helps tradesmen to understand what they should check for to guarantee the door and its accompanying hardware will work properly.

The simple and easy-to-use checklist aims to make installing and maintaining fire doors more straightforward, and can be used as a quick reference guide when tradesmen are working on a property.

Martin Smith, product manager at IronmongeryDirect, said:

‘Over 3 million new fire doors are bought and installed every year to protect against fires and ultimately save lives. However not all are installed or maintained properly.”

IronmongeryDirect is continually developing ways to support its customers which is why we have created this checklist to ensure trade professionals know exactly what that need to look for to ensure a fire door works correctly in the event of a fire. From choosing the best hardware components right through to ongoing aftercare, all aspects need to be given considerable thought.

Failure to comply with the rules and regulations highlighted by the checklist not only puts people’s lives at risk, but can lead to prosecution and fines for the people responsible for the installation or maintenance of a fire door, so it’s important to get it right.

With so many factors to bear in mind, this tool has been designed to help make their job much easier.”
To download the fire door safety checklist, please visit:

www.IronmongeryDirect.co.uk/fire-door

IronmongeryDirect
Scimitar Park
Basildon
Essex
SS13 1ND
W: www.IronmongeryDirect.co.uk
T: 0808 168 28 28
E: sales@IronmongeryDirect.co.uk



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Sunday, 24 May 2015

Fastest road-car of the 1980s, the Porsche 959 under the hammer at Bonhams Spa Classic Sale


Bonhams annual Spa Classic Sale will showcase more than 40 fantastic motor cars and 14 lots of carefully selected automobilia. 

The sale takes place today, 24 May at the famous Circuit at Spa Francorchamps, Belgium.

Upon introduction, the Porsche 959 boasted a top speed of 195 mph (314 km/h), making it the world’s fastest street-legal production car. Bonhams Spa Classic sale features an excellent example of this iconic model, a 1988 Porsche 959 Coupé, estimated at €700,000-900,000.

Philip Kantor, Bonhams European Head of Motoring, said:
“This is an extremely original example, having remained with its first registered owner from new. This 1980s supercar is the rarest and most revolutionary Porsche, and this year it celebrates its 30th anniversary so it’s the perfect time to acquire such a fantastic car. With eight exciting Porsche offered at the upcoming Spa Classic Sale, it’s a wonderful event for any collector.”
The 959 represented the ultimate in automobile design, successfully adapting state-of-the art racing technology for road use, and even today its specification remains unmatched.

 Conceived in the early 1980s as a four-wheel-drive Group B competitor, it was first displayed in 'concept car' form at the 1983 Frankfurt Motor Show, and despite the subsequent abandonment of the events for which it had been intended, it entered limited production in 1987.

The car was faster than just about anything else on the road, and yet, in the Porsche tradition, was comfortable, practical and reliable. Indeed, with its electric windows and mirrors, climate control, electric heated seats and superb stereo system, the 959 rivalled many a limousine for luxury.

Although its Group B raison d-être had ceased to exist, the Porsche 959 did achieve one major competition victory. In 1986 René Metge and Dominique Lemoyne won the gruelling Paris-Dakar Rally in their works 959 with similar cars in second and seventh places. The race-developed variant finished seventh at Le Mans that year, winning the IMSA GT2 class. In total, fewer than 300 of these exclusive supercars were made.


The eight Porsche offered at Bonhams Spa Classic Sale include:
  • Lot 112: 1971 Porsche 911S 2.4-Litre Targa Coupé – estimate €110,000-140,000
  • Lot 119: 1986 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 Litres Targa - estimate €90,000-130,000
  • Lot 124: 1988 Porsche 959 Coupé – estimate €700,000-900,000
  • Lot 132: 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2-Litre Coupé WTL – estimate €40,000-60,000
  • Lot 136: 1980 Porsche 924 Carrera GT Coupé – estimate €75,000-95,000
  • Lot 137: 1972 Porsche 911T 2.4-Litre Targa Coupé – estimate €70,000-80,000
  • Lot 121: 1992 Porsche 911 Carrera RS Type 964 Coupé – estimate €185,000-235,000
  • Lot 131: The Ex-Jürgen Oppermann/Otto Altenbach/Loris Kessel Obermaier Racing – first Porsche home at Le Mans,1990-93 Porsche Type 962 C Endurance Racing Competition Coupe – estimate €1,450,000-1,850,000

Bonhams Spa Classic takes place today, the 24 May in Spa Francorchamps, Belgium.

For more information visit www.bonhams.com.



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Saturday, 23 May 2015

Clear View Reveal 100% Customer Satisfaction In First Quarter


Yorkshire-based bi-folding door specialists, Clear View, has demonstrated its commitment to customer satisfaction after gaining top marks in its customer feedback report.

The company has revealed that 100% of its customers were overly satisfied with its service in the first quarter of 2015 – with a staggering 72% rating the company as excellent.

Paul Oxley, Managing Director at Clear View, said:

“We are absolutely overwhelmed by the positive feedback we have received already this year. These scores are based on the professionalism of all of our staff members during the complete buying cycle, from the initial enquiry through to the completed work.

“Knowing that our services are being provided at the highest possible level is the best compliment anyone could have given us and we are striving to ensure we can replicate this in the next quarter.”
The remaining 28% of customers ranked Clear View’s service as either good or very good under the categories such as work efficiency, professionalism and work fulfilled.

Clear View provide a wide range of aluminium products to the commercial and domestic markets in the Yorkshire region, and include windows, bi-folding doors, patio doors and sliding doors.

For more information about Clear View and the services they offer please visit: www.clearviewdoors.co.uk or call 0800 135 7167.



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Friday, 22 May 2015

Hörmann unveils new products at UK Dealer Conference and Gala Dinner


Over 100 door industry professionals from across the country came together recently at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole for Hörmann’s inaugural UK Dealer Conference and Gala Dinner.

The event included a series of presentations and fine dining for the leading door manufacturer’s key distributors and esteemed guests. Managing director David Newcombe’s speech focused on the importance of strong engagement, a theme that ran throughout the evening, from the findings of Hörmann’s latest customer research, through to the announcement of a charity partnership with Alzheimer’s Society.

To start the evening, David was joined on stage by a panel of five members of senior staff, who took part in a question and answer session with attendees. The panel members discussed their respective departments’ commitment to on-going improvement and explained how they plan to support dealers over the course of 2015.

Guests were also encouraged to ask questions and report on their experiences of the current market, with some installers noting an increase in demand for garage doors amongst housebuilders.

Ray Nash from Alzheimers Society with David Newcombe

A highlight of the evening was the presentation given by Ray Nash, senior regional corporate fundraising executive at Alzheimer’s Society. Hörmann agreed to a partnership with the deserving charity late last year and hopes to raise £30,000 throughout 2015.

The evening coincided with the National Home Building and Renovating Show at the NEC in Birmingham. Distributors visited Hörmann’s stand the following day to see and discuss some of the manufacturer’s new and most popular products.

This year’s show was the best yet for Hörmann, with a significant year-on-year increase in enquiries. Visitors to the show were able to view some of the brand’s latest and most popular products.

For more information about Hörmann’s range of garage and entrance doors, visit www.hormann.co.uk .



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Thursday, 21 May 2015

Yale Launches Smart Living At Grand Designs Live


Yale’s new Smart Living range has taken Grand Designs Live by storm, whetting consumer appetite for all things smart!

Grand Designs Live, which ran for nine days at the ExCel Centre in London, offered consumers the opportunity to see the latest trends for the home, including many products never seen before. This year’s show provided the perfect platform to introduce the new Yale Smart Living range to the mass market.

Carly Baker, Marketing Manager for Yale Door and Window Solutions, comments: 
“Our presence at this year’s Grand Design Live has helped to generate greater consumer awareness around smart home security, with the launch of Yale Smart Living.

“Throughout 2015 we are linking closely with the new Smart Living consumer campaign, to help increase sales for our partners in the retail door and window installation market.

“The Yale Smart Living range takes the hassle out of home security, allowing homeowners to keep an eye on no matter where they are. Available in a variety of options to suit all consumer needs, Yale Smart Living presents the perfect opportunity for our partners who are looking to get ahead and tap in to the emerging smart home market. From standalone products, to a complete home security system, built around an intelligent smart security hub, which integrates with a wide range of modular accessories… Yale has smart security sorted.

“If homeowners have already invested in a
leading smart home system network centred on entertainment or energy, then Yale’s standalone modular products easily integrate with other system providers, so homeowners can be assured they have the very best protection.”
Yale Smart Living – The smarter way to secure sales.

For further information on the comprehensive choice of door and window hardware available from Yale Door and Window Solutions, please visit www.yaledoorandwindowsolutions.co.uk or follow @YaleDWS on Twitter.



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Wednesday, 20 May 2015

DHF intensifies campaign against non compliant garage door installations


The Door & Hardware Federation (DHF) Garage Door Group is working closely with trading standards officers in a bid to reduce the number of unsafe and non compliant domestic garage doors being installed.

Of the thousands of garage doors installed each year, the DHF Garage Door Group estimates that 15% are either unsafe or have not undergone the legally required testing procedures. The DHF Garage Door Group, which represents the UK’s leading suppliers and installers of domestic garage doors, made this estimate following a number of site inspections carried out over the last 12 months.

Michael Skelding, DHF general manager and secretary said: 
“The extent of non compliance is shocking, particularly regarding roller shutter doors. In one case, our inspectors identified a non-DHF company which has supplied hundreds of non compliant domestic garage doors. A garage door can be the largest and heaviest moving part in the home. If it’s unsafe then it’s quite capable of causing serious injury, or worse.

“Householders wanting a new garage door, or are having their existing door motorised, need the confidence that their supplier will fit a product that is legal and safe for their family to use.”
In those cases where the DHF has found unsafe or non compliant installations, it has worked with trading standards officers in order to take appropriate action to bring suppliers into compliance.

DHF investigations into non compliant garage door installations revealed an alarming list of faults including:

  • Unprotected roller mechanisms that could trap hands
  • Deficient fixings that could collapse without warning
  • Lack of protection against the door closing violently in the event of parts failure
  • Lack of touch sensitive protection to prevent crushing injury
  • Faulty electrics.

Homeowners should ensure their garage door has been CE marked and should ask the garage door company to provide Declarations of Performance and Conformity to demonstrate it has undergone the required testing and complies with the Construction Products Regulation and the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations.

Concluding Michael Skelding said:
“As a trade association we’ve made great strides in ensuring our members comply with all relevant safety, legal and performance criteria. We provide comprehensive guidance on meeting standards to our own installer members. The DHF is a member of the Chartered Trading Standards Institute and we intend to work closely with trading standards officials over the coming months to carry on raising levels of compliance and safety throughout the industry and stop the use of non compliant products.”


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Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Changes Afoot at Fort Doors


Fort Doors, the Birmingham-based producer of garage doors, has initiated a number of changes across the business that are designed to improve the service it offers to customers.

“We are moving towards our third summer of trading and this seemed like a good time to take stock of the business and see what we could improve for the many loyal customers who have helped us along the way,” says Fort Doors Director Lee Moon.
“We have come a long way in a short period of time but now we are established we see it as time to improve our service. Like most new companies we’ve experienced our ups and downs but feel that we are now in a much stronger position to offer all our customers the service they expect and deserve.”
As part of the programme of improvement, Fort Doors is now carrying a large number of stock doors, which will enable the company to deliver items to customers much faster than previously has been the case. This has already had the effect of cutting delivery times down to two weeks maximum for stock doors, with most doors in the Fort range available even quicker.

Fort has also made the decision to manufacture all products in the UK, which means even doors that are custom-made to exact client specifications can be delivered within a three week period.

Other improvements include a revamp of paint facilities so that customers now have access to any colour from the RAL chart, with no resultant delay in delivery. A new price list is also available, which has been streamlined and simplified to make it easier to cost jobs. Although some prices have gone up, these rises have been kept to a minimum, whilst the majority of door prices have fallen across the Fort product portfolio. The new price list also means that standard ribbed and medium ribbed doors are now the same cost, enabling installers to price before arrival and offer a no-cost optional alternative to customers.

Changes to the product range have also seen the introduction of a new standard paint finish for horizontal/vertical designs. This is in response to Fort customers asking for the option of a smooth finish on these doors, which is now offered as a no-cost choice. If no preference is made then smooth satin finish is standard, with deep texture finish a no-cost option.

A new spring system on canopy doors has also been introduced. The spring is 20% larger in diameter and is now finished in chrome to ensure a longer life span. This also means the door is easier to tension and adjust on site and gives a much better balance to the door operation.

It is not just products and systems that have undergone a revamp. Changes have also taken place in the Fort Doors staff, as Lee Moon explains:
“There is a changing of the guard in process as Matthew Berry has left us for pastures new. We all wish him well, as he has greatly contributed to our success, and we will be announcing his replacement in due course.”
For information or queries regarding Fort Doors please call Dan Rutherford on 0121 7493699 or 07900 943262.


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Monday, 18 May 2015

Commercial Pilot Builds Aircraft Hanger in his own Garden


A commercial pilot for a well-known short-haul package holiday airline can now extend his flight time from the comfort of his own home, thanks to garage door manufacturer Hörmann and installation company, Foremost Garage Doors.

Mr Henry Brewis, 50, of Bury St. Edmunds has been flying since he was 19, and as such, owns a private four-seater Jabiru aeroplane, which he houses in a purpose-built 105 sq.m cart lodge. As well as Henry' light aircraft, the cart lodge is also home to plenty of overhead storage and his family's four cars, which all fit neatly under the Jabiru's 8.12m wing span.

After keeping his plane in a nearby airfield, some 20 minutes drive away, Henry decided it was time to invest in his own personal aircraft hangar.

The Brewis' old listed farmhouse was renovated 20 years ago with the oak-framed cart lodge/garage built in 2014 to an architect's specifications and Henry's vision of creating a door opening wide enough to park his beloved plane.


Once planning permission had been granted, the structural ground works started in November 2013, but due to wet weather, the building completion was delayed until Spring. With specialist 6x2 lengths of Glulam (laminated timber comprising of strong bonded layers) and locally sourced 9in.sq beams of oak support the roof structure, it took just six weeks to build above ground level from start to finish.

When Henry began the specification process, he sourced quotes from commercial door companies, however, he decided they were far too heavy and expensive for domestic use. With a brief for an affordable, attractive garage door to fit a 12m wide opening, he approached a couple of specialists with his unusual request, but unfortunately they could not offer any help or guidance.

After a recommendation from a fellow friend, he was introduced to Andy Simmonds at Fore-Most Garage Doors in Ipswich, who was very positive about the proposed challenge, on the proviso that he could source the relevant products from Hörmann, and seek advice from the manufacturer's domestic engineer and UK resident expert, Alex MacKay.

In keeping with the Brewis' Tudor oak-framed property and cart lodge, the conclusion came to fitting a combination of two double automated HST side-sliding sectional doors, something akin to a James Bond lair, much to the appreciation of Henry, Andy and Hörmann's central area sales manager and former service engineer, Luke Freeman.

The clean white finish of the garage doors matches the Jabiru perfectly, and if Henry decides to upgrade to a six-seater aircraft, he can easily do so, as the current width and height of the doors were specified to allow this future eventuality.

For Andy, working with Henry's architect and builder was key to ensuring the construction was completely level, in order to safeguard an accurate installation. As with any garage door fitting, it is of the upmost importance for the door openings and side walls to be correctly aligned for smooth operation, and for the relevant clearances to be left in the reveals to enable the door to function properly. Since the proposed sectional side-sliding doors needed to be so significant in size, the boom tolerance, lintel strength and load-bearing weight had to be factored in so that the space could provide ample support.

Henry agrees that a team effort is required for a successful build: "By using the necessary skills and inside knowledge of a door specialist from the outset, meant that we knew the exact specifications required to undertake such a project," he commented.
"I particularly liked the 'can-do' attitude of Andy at Fore-Most, as nothing was too much trouble. The doors work incredibly well; they are exactly as I expected, so I am very pleased with the end result.

"I would advise anyone to thoroughly do their door research and enlist the help of experts early on for both the purchase decision and installation."
With the oak cart lodge costing around £50,000, and the garage doors at £10,000, the Brewis family have not only added considerable value to their home, but more importantly, they can now enjoy the freedom of sharing more time as a family, doing what they love, without being tied to the inconvenience and distance of an airfield.

Renting the field next door from a local farmer has meant that Henry, his wife Hayley and two daughters can fly from home at short notice, virtually taking off from their back garden, which has been a blessing when travelling the 200 miles to Somerset in 1.5 hours to make the most of their Summer holidays.


www.hormann.co.uk

www.foremostgaragedoors.co.uk



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