Saturday, 30 September 2017

Prevention Is Better than Cure: The Fire Door Perspective



In a fire emergency, it is a race against time to prevent flames from spreading beyond control – meaning a working fire door could be the difference between life and death, says Allegion UK Commercial Leader Pete Hancox.

It needs no mention that the tragedy at Grenfell Tower has been a sombre, sobering experience. Shock, disbelief and anger have gripped the nation in the weeks and months following the fire. There’s no question it will live long as a thorny, incredibly sad memory – especially as data has since shown at least another 211 tower blocks have failed combustibility tests following testing on their exterior cladding.


Following the tragedy, the media and nation have focused on the aforementioned cladding issues, as well as a lack of sprinkler systems in Grenfell Tower and other similar tower block buildings. 

Other talking points have emerged around the lack of a high ladder – which did not arrive on the scene for 32 minutes for the fire brigade. As a consequence, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan ordered an urgent review of the fire brigade kit after rescue delays.

Of course, improving those factors is a necessicity and, in due course, will raise fire safety standards all around. However, they are arguably response tactics, as opposed to prevention tactics, for a fire spreading out of control.


An area of fire safety that has been given little attention to, but deserves much more credit, is the fire door. What a good fire door system can do is buy precious time. It is a prevention method and inhibits fires from getting out of control too quickly by compartmentalising the fire.

In tall and densely populated buildings especially, trapping the fire between fire doors can stop the ‘chimney effect.’ This is where stairways and corridors combust quickly through non-fire retardant materials, ripping through the building within a matter of minutes and thus blocking access to the vital escape routes.

Whilst a fire door won’t put out a fire, we can clearly see how they would serve an important function. In Grenfell Tower’s case, they could arguably have been one of the most important factors, following the revelation about the fire service’s initial lack of a high ladder.


What the RRFSO States


The Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order 2006 (or RRFSO) is the key regulation for building owners and operators. Under the RRFSO, not only do building owners and operators have to demonstrate that safety precuations are in place, but also they are continually reviewed and monitored.

Of the responsibilities, it includes regular fire assessments, implementing clearly defined evacuation procedures and ensuring adequate signage is in place.

Above all, though, the priority requirement is that all doors are fit for purpose in the instance of fire. That means emergency doors must open in the direction of escape, and they must not be locked or fastened in such a way that they cannot be easily and immediately opened by any person who may need to use them in an emergency. Sliding and revolving doors are, therefore, not permitted as emergency exits.

The Fire Door System – Preventing the Spread


Ultimately, it is the fire door that stops the fire from spreading. However, a fire door itself cannot work properly without its contributory parts. One intrinsic part is the door closer.

Door Closers and Linked Fire Alarms
As Approved Document B: Volume 2, which governs fire safety in dwelling houses and flats, states, all fire doors should be fitted with a self-closing device. The exceptions are fire doors to cupboards and to service ducts, which are normally kept locked shut, and fire doors within flats (although self-closing devices are still necessary on flat entrance doors).

It goes on to state that closing devices to flat entrances must be 18N in closing force – power size 3. A mechanical door closer will fulfil this requirement, but there are also electro-magnetically controlled closers available too, which would be much more user-friendly in tower blocks.

A continual problem with fire doors is that they are heavier in nature. This makes them hard to operate for some people, for example elderly, disabled or children, who lack upper body strength or mobility. Therefore the temptation is to prop open fire doors to ease movement and accessibility, but this is illegal. A propped open fire door will render it useless in the event of a fire.

Electro-magnetically controlled door closers can negate this temptation, as they will hold open doors using electro-magnets, and release them when a fire alarm is sounded. An example of this is the Briton 996 door closer.


Latchbolt Monitors

Another piece of hardware technology that can contribute to a good fire door system in multiple occupancy buildings is the latchbolt monitor.

As mentioned, fire doors are often propped open, but that is not the only thing that stops them from performing properly. If they do not close fully, i.e. latch to the door frame, then the intumescent seals around the fire door won’t stop smoke and toxic chemicals from leaking through.

In a tower block, this scenario is common. Air pressure conditions are constantly changing, due to the weather, open windows, doors etc., which can prevent a fire door from latching fully. To guard against this, a latchbolt monitor can be installed to the latch, which sends a signal to a central monitoring system that alerts if any doors aren’t latched fully.

Electro-mechanical Panic Bars

A recent development of the door hardware industry is the electro-mechanical panic bar – a traditional panic bar from the inside that allows access control functionality from the outside by using an electronic motor to control the latch.

While not an essential to fire door safety, they are a good addition for tower blocks due to the access control functionality they can provide. Use of pinpads, transponders and keycards instead of mechanical keys on communal entrances can allow for audit activity on those doors, and allow security managers to pinpoint doors that are being left open and at what specific times.

Signage and Resident’s Fire Door Safety Checklist
All fire doors should be clearly marked, as per the RRFSO guidelines.

Again, use of fire doors will be part of daily life in a tower block. However, there can be no guarantees that they won’t be misused. Clear and correct signage must be applied to make users aware that they should be kept shut.

A good practice would also be to ensure residents are clear on how to determine if a fire door is legal or not. A basic checklist and gap tester is available to all from Allegion, which will allow residents to test and report for gaps around the fire door, latching issues or otherwise etc. Making residents aware of fire door safety can allow for a more agile approach to fire safety testing.


Only as good as the sum of its parts

In a fire, time is crucial. There needs to be time for the fire services to reach the scene of the fire, for occupants to evacuate, and if evacuation is not possible, then to move on to the next safe points of the building.
Pete Hancox

Fire-resistant doors are available that have been tested to protect against fire spreading for up to 30, 60, 90 and 120 minutes. However, if they are not working as they should be, then no matter how good the cures are to follow, the fire will have that chance of breaking out of control and causing devastating effects.

In most cases, a fire door will never be called into action for the entirety of its lifespan. However, when we need it most, we want it to work as it has been specified to do. The simple measures we have listed above will go a long way towards ensuring fire doors are respected as they should be.


For more, visit www.allegion.com.




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Friday, 29 September 2017

Best Practice when Specifying Fire Doors


As we pass the halfway point during this year’s Fire Door Safety Week, Alison Aston, Category Manager at ASSA ABLOY Security Solutions, outlines a number of essential guidelines to follow when specifying fire doors and associated hardware.

Writing tender documents
As early on as the tender process, mistakes and misunderstandings can occur, sometimes resulting in specifications being broken. We recommend ensuring any tender documents feature the following details as a baseline for fire safety:

  • BWF-Certifire approval should feature on all doors, frames, and other components, as well as associated ironmongery where possible
  • Any compatible fire doors, frames, ironmongery and other components must be CE marked and tested for fire performance where applicable
  • All doorset components must be compatible and included on the fire certificate
  • All fire doors and related products must be installed following installation instructions and fire certification


Prove it
Making sure all stated products are fit for intended use is another major hurdle when specifying fire doors and hardware. Though some organisations may claim their doors, frames and ironmongery are certified for use as fire protection products, this is not always the case.

When sourcing products for specification, always check the method of certification. Major insurance companies will usually insist that any fire protection products be accredited by an independent third party.

Indeed, the RISCAuthority specifically mentions this in its paper, BDM1-Fire Protection of Buildings. It states: “As a minimum, all fire protection products shall be third party certified to an appropriate product – or performance-based standard.” Asking about this before purchase could help avoid potentially difficult situations that might arise in a fire’s aftermath.

Don’t allow modifications 
A certified door is accredited to perform ‘as delivered’. Modifying the door puts this status at risk and is highly discouraged, especially on-site.

Consequently, no customisation should be made to the fire door, including glazing or cutting in apertures. These are specialist processes and should be carried out by trained professionals. Circumventing this for the sake of convenience will invalidate any certification.

If any modifications or apertures are required, they must be specified during the order, carried out by a BWF Certifire-licensed door processor and carry the scheme label.

Choosing intumescent and smoke seals
There is a huge choice of intumescent seals for fire doors based on size, material type, resistance level and even colour. You can also specify them to be supplied as one seal or as separate items for placing in the door edge or within the frame.

It is absolutely vital these seals are correctly fire rated and compatible with the door and frame, otherwise there is a risk of compartmentalisation failure. Seal failure will allow cold smoke and flames to break through, putting the building’s occupants at risk.

Choosing hardware
As well as CE marking, Certifire approval of locks, hinges, closers and PED can give specifiers, installers and users additional peace of mind.

The Certifire certificate details for which fire doors the hardware has been approved. Surface items such as cylinders, handles and signage cannot be CE Marked or Certifire approved.

For further information on essential guidelines to follow when specifying fire doors and associated hardware, the British Woodworking Federation’s Best Practice Guide is invaluable. Please visit www.bwfcertifire.org.uk.

For more information on ASSA ABLOY UK, please visit www.assaabloy.co.uk.





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Thursday, 28 September 2017

Fire Door Safety Week marks 45 years for Geofire



As Fire Door Safety Week begins, UK manufacturer Geofire is celebrating 45 years in the fire industry.

The company began life designing and manufacturing electromagnets for use in fire industry products in 1972, before producing its own range of hard-wired, fire door holders in 1989.

Geofire has continued to grow through its focus on research and development and its ability to design, manufacture and test its products under one roof. This has allowed the business to achieve both the quality required in the industry and empower its engineers to design the next generation of fire products that meet customer’s changing requirements.

In 2013, as sales grew, Geofire relocated to its current purpose built factory and has continued to invest in the latest CNC machinery, automation and testing facilities to ensure it maintains the highest quality standards. 


Geofire was first to market with both its wire-free technologies; the Salamander radio-controlled and Agrippa, ‘listen and learn’ technology, sound-activated products, which are mainly used to retrofit into existing buildings. Both brands are battery-powered but are used to serve users with different requirements.

Andy Collinson, CEO of Geofire, explains: “What makes Geofire different is that we are constantly developing our products in the lab to ensure we are always ahead of the game when it comes to fire door technology.

“The team is rightly proud of what has been achieved over the last 45 years and we all excited about the future. We won’t stop, continuous improvement is part of our business and we have some exciting projects in the pipeline.

Nick Goddard, Research and Development Manager who has been an employee since 1994, said: 
“We are lucky to have a team that is always thinking about the next innovation and of course a management team that invests for the future in our people and their skills, as well as machinery and our manufacturing capabilities.
“Wire-free technology is something we have worked on for a number of years and as we see the market for wire-free technology widen to countries across the world, there is no doubt, despite some scepticism originally, that this technology has begun to build up a reliable and credible reputation for fire protection, in a much easier way than ever before.”
Geofire’s Salamander radio system receives radio signals from a central controller linked to an existing fire panel. It is also specified to the highest fire safety standard in the UK; BS 7273-4 critical actuation (category A).

The Agrippa sound activated devices automatically close fire doors upon hearing the sound of the fire alarm. It is different to similar products on the market because of the intelligent technology used to ‘listen and learn’ the sound of the building’s specific fire alarm, rather than simply a loud noise.

Geofire is part of the British Engines Group, which has seven engineering businesses across the North East of England and offices in 16 other countries worldwide. 

www.geofire.co.uk



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Wednesday, 27 September 2017

7 Deadly Sins - Common Faults that lead to Fire Door Failure in less than Five Minutes


A fire door test which replicates the seven most common defects spotted in social housing flats and apartments shows just how quickly those doors will fail if incorrectly specified and installed.

As part of Fire Door Safety Week (25 September – 1 October), the BWF-Certifire Scheme has released a dramatic video of a fire door burn test.

The video compares two almost identical fire doors with the same fire rating – FD30, meaning the door should provide at least 30 minutes of protection. This is the most common integrity rating for UK fire doors.

One door is correctly specified and installed, but the other has a series of faults which are frequently identified:

1. The door is secured with only two, non-fire rated, standard hinges (For a standard height fire door, a minimum of three hinges should be installed to prevent the door from warping in a fire.)

2. There are excessive gaps between the side of the door and the frame. (The gaps around the door should be less than 4mm once the door is shut.)

3. Intumescent and smoke seals are missing. (These are vital to the fire door’s performance as they fill the gap between the door and frame when the door is closed.)

4. The door has a non-fire rated letter plate. (Letter plates must be suitable for use on the specific fire door and detailed on the fire door certificate as a compatible component. Letter plates must also be fitted in the correct location within the fire door leaf and fitted with the correct intumescent protection and fixings.)

5. The air transfer grille does not have an intumescent block fitted inside.

6. Intumescent edge protection is missing around the glazing bead.

7. A non-fire rated panel was installed above the door.

The video shows the incorrectly specified fire door failing long before the 30 minutes it should last, highlighting the importance of correct fire door installation and maintenance.

Without the protection of intumescent interlayer and intumescent seals, the faulty door allows smoke to pour through the gaps after just four and a half minutes.


Hannah Mansell, BWF technical manager and spokesperson for Fire Door Safety Week, says:
“This test is not an academic exercise. This is about life and death. Just imagine being in front of a faulty fire door, relying on it to buy you time to be saved from a fire, and seeing it fail before your eyes.
“Fire doors are in almost every building where we work, live and sleep and they are often never given a second thought. But they must be specified, fitted and maintained correctly with compatible components that have been third-party certificated. This is the only way to ensure that the fire door performs to its intended fire rating. Every tiny detail and every split-second counts.”
All BWF-Certifire members offer third-party certificated fire doors and components that have been rigorously assessed and audited. Through the scheme approximately 2.5 million fire doors are tested and certified each year.

This year’s Fire Door Safety Week campaign is raising awareness of the critical role of third-party certificated fire doors in high-rise buildings, houses of multiple occupancy and other types of shared accommodation.

Find out more about Fire Door Safety Week and how to get involved at: firedoorsafetyweek.co.uk





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Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Free Online Training on Fire Doors launched for the Door Industry


Following the Grenfell Tower tragedy and in support of this year’s Fire Door Safety Week (25 September – 1 October 2017), a new free online training tool has been launched to boost the basic understanding of fire doors needed by those with responsibilities for fire safety.

The course has been developed by the Fire Door Inspection Scheme (FDIS), Europe's first competency framework for fire door inspectors. It is delivered virtually through an online interactive learning portal and is open to anyone who is responsible for specifying, selling, installing or maintaining fire doors and their components.

The service builds on the highly popular half-day ‘Bite size fire door training course’ launched earlier this year in response to the increasing demand for training to increase knowledge about the legal and practical issues relating to fire doors. It also provides an introduction to the FDIS Diploma in Fire Doors.

Kevin Hulin, FDIS manager, said:
"The lack of basic knowledge about fire doors is a real challenge to all parts of the industry, and we felt this was something simple that we could do to help.
“There are now 30 inspectors operating throughout the UK accredited through the FDIS process and we have had more than 1,100 people sign up to study the diploma. 
“This new course is an introduction to the diploma, tailored for the generalist who needs to know the basics and also needs to be able to recognise when to bring in an expert. I hope it will also encourage them to continue their studies further, and support the challenge laid down by the Fire Door Safety Week team to make our building stock that bit safer.”
The free online training tool is available at trial.fdis.co.uk

FDIS is Europe's first fire door inspection scheme. It was launched in 2012 as a joint venture between the BWF-Certifire Scheme and the Guild of Architectural Ironmongers. It aims to transform people's knowledge about how and why fire doors work and the potential dangers of getting it wrong.

FDIS provides an online learning centre leading to a Diploma in Fire Doors, and a route for diploma holders to become Certificated Fire Door Inspectors through independent assessment by Exova Warringtonfire.

www.fdis.co.uk


Image Credit: Lorient


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Monday, 25 September 2017

Fire doors save lives, can yours? - Fire door inspection services from Lorient


Lorient, leading designer and manufacturer of high-performance door sealing systems offers a range of Testing & Technical Services that include fire door inspections and consultancy. 

With almost 40 years’ experience, Lorient is respected throughout the industry for its technical expertise; and plays an active role in helping to shape standards and best practice.

A fire door acts just as any other door in normal service, in a fire it takes on a critical role – to save lives and protect property. It does this by holding back the spread of fire and smoke through a building for a designated period, giving time for building occupants to escape.

In 2006, the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 came into force in England and Wales; transferring the responsibility for Fire Safety from the fire authorities to whoever has day-to-day control of building premises – this is known as the ‘Responsible Person’.


This person must take steps to reduce the risk from fire; consider how to contain a fire should one break out and ensure people can escape safely. They also need to be able to identify a Competent Person i.e. knowledgeable, qualified professional who can undertake preventative and protective measures, such as Fire Door Inspections, if they’re not confident to do so.

Compliance with the RRO is a legal requirement. Failure to comply with RRO is a criminal offence and can lead to prosecution, large fines and even imprisonment.

Every year lives are lost unnecessarily because fire doors have been wrongly specified, fitted or maintained. It is the duty of the ‘Responsible Person’ to ensure that all passive and active fire protection is under a sustained, suitable and sufficient programme of inspection and maintenance to ensure that they will perform as intended in the event of a fire.

Lorient offers a professional and expert fire door inspection service; with certificated Fire Door Inspectors that are fully qualified under the Fire Door Inspection Scheme (FDIS); and have been assessed by Exova Warringtonfire, an independent third party. Certificated to carry out the inspection of building’s fire doors and prepare a detailed survey; and report on the condition and function of the fire doors on premises; providing peace-of-mind.

For further information about Lorient’s Fire Door Inspection Services please contact 01626 834252 or email testing@lorientuk.com.



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Sunday, 24 September 2017

Time Warp Bessie brings Doctor Who to Beaulieu



Doctor Who’s much-loved car Bessie, which was a favourite with millions of viewers for its futuristic features in the Seventies, has been put on show in On Screen Cars at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu.


The Earth-based transport for Jon Pertwee’s third Doctor was a bright yellow vintage car replica which starred in many episodes of the cult sci-fi show across two decades.

Bessie was fitted with space-age modifications fit for the Doctor’s adventures, including remote control which allowed him to drive her from a distance as well as an anti-theft force-field.


The Siva Edwardian, built on the chassis of a 1954 Ford Popular, first appeared in the Doctor Who and the Silurians episode in 1970 when the Doctor was stranded on planet Earth and exiled by the Time Lords without the use of his TARDIS. With a need to stay mobile in his fight against monsters and villains, the Doctor adopted Bessie as his four-wheeled transport.

Even when a new car, the Whomobile, appeared on set as a dramatic winged creation, Bessie remained essential for tackling such foes as humanoids, giant spiders, intelligent reptiles and the hypnotic Master.

Tom Baker drove Bessie in his first episode in 1974, using the car to help defeat a giant robot. After a hiatus, the car reappeared in 1983 in The Five Doctors, when Peter Davison’s Doctor encountered four other versions of himself. Dusted down for another adventure with Sylvester McCoy’s Doctor in Battlefield in 1989, Bessie’s last hurrah on the small screen came in 1993 with the charity special episode Dimensions in Time.


Bessie may look like a vintage car but in reality is a 1954 Ford Popular 103E, fitted with a fibreglass tourer body made by Siva Engineering of Dorset. The four-seater Siva Edwardian body was available in kit form from 1969 until the mid-1970s, along with a two-seater Roadster model, allowing any keen DIY mechanic to transform their second-hand Ford 7Y 8hp, Anglia or Popular into a replica of a much older machine and re-live the good old days of motoring.

The original chassis, suspension, engine and transmission from the Ford were all retained in the build of the Siva Edwardian. However, the 1172cc side-valve engine was low-powered and, together with the widely-spaced ratios of the three-speed gearbox, meant that Bessie was not a fast machine. Later on in her filming life, Bessie was fitted with a larger engine which required the nose of the car to be lengthened.


Bessie joins the prestigious line-up of motoring stars in On Screen Cars at Beaulieu. In the hall of fame is Rupert Grint’s flying Ford Anglia from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Del Boy’s Reliant Regal Supervan from Only Fools and Horses, Mr Bean’s lime green Mini, the Jaguar XKR from James Bond film Die Another Day and Jennifer Saunders’ and Joanna Lumley’s getaway car – the Piaggio Ape from Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie.

Entrance to On Screen Cars is included in a general admission ticket to Beaulieu, which also includes entry to the National Motor Museum with its collection of more than 250 vehicles, the new-look World of Top Gear, the ancestral Montagu home of Palace House, 13th century Beaulieu Abbey and the stunning grounds and gardens. 


For advance tickets or more information see www.beaulieu.co.uk or call 01590 612345.





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Saturday, 23 September 2017

Allegion promotes fire door safety week In hopes of addressing worrisome fire statistics


Recent findings show that nearly 13 percent of fires spread further than the “room of origin,” highlighting a great need to raise awareness of fire door safety, according to safety and security solutions provider Allegion UK. 

That’s why Allegion UK will be supporting the British Woodworking Federation’s national Fire Door Safety Week (FDSW), taking place 25th September to 1st October, through a number of activities.

The aim of FDSW is to raise awareness about the importance of fire doors and the role they play in restricting the spread of fire and smoke. Disappointing statistics suggest that fire doors are not being used or maintained correctly, and some alarming points have been uncovered:

  • 12.75 percent of fires in purpose-built high rise flats in 2016/17 spread further than the “room of origin.” (Fire in purpose-built flats, England, April 2009 to March 2017)
  • In a survey of more than 1,000 tenants living in flats, only 35 percent of the lowest income households renting say they have been given information on the emergency fire plan. (Atomik Research, September 2016)
  • 15 percent of all tenants living in blocks of flats who have fire safety concerns never reported those concerns to anyone. (Atomik Research, September 2016)
  • More than 61 percent of fire doors inspected had problems with fire or smoke seals and more than one-third had incorrect signage. (Research by FDIS, 677 Doors inspected at 31 sites)
  • 53 percent of people admitted they would not know how to spot a dodgy fire door. (Research shared by CFOA during at UK Business Safety Week 2016)

Pete Hancox, commercial leader for Allegion UK & Ireland, said, 
“Fire doors save lives because they prevent fires from spreading out of control too quickly. They also stop smoke from escaping and causing blindness or toxic inhalation during the fire.
“Statistics from various reputable sources show that the public must be made more aware of the importance of fire doors in saving lives and protecting property.”

To help the public with fire door safety, Allegion will be giving away via their website free fire door gap testers that can test whether gaps around fire doors are within the legal limit or not.

In addition to the gap testers, the safety and security experts are also collaborating with the West Midlands Fire Service to host a fire door safety talk at Allegion’s offices for employees and local businesses. The Friday, 29th September, event will cover the technical aspects of fire doors, what the law says on fire doors and what to look out for when carrying out inspections.

Allegion UK has also made a £500 charitable donation to the Fire Fighters Charity www.firefighterscharity.org.uk in recognition of the heroic efforts of fire fighters everywhere, including those who risked their lives during the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

Allegion has created a dedicated fire door safety website with vital fire safety information and tools to help those who may need it ensure their fire doors are safe and compliant. Allegion’s door hardware experts are also on hand to offer free safety advice to help ensure the right fire door hardware is selected, fitted and correctly and regularly maintained.

For more information on Allegion’s FDSW activities, call 0121 380 2400. Allegion’s fire door safety resources are available at www.allegion.com/uk.




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Friday, 22 September 2017

Last chance to attend free fire door safety event


Property owners, architects and facilities managers have only a few days left to register to attend a free fire door safety event, hosted by West Midlands Fire Service and ASSA ABLOY UK, the global leader in door opening solutions.

Titled ‘It’s Time To Talk About Fire Doors’, the event offers professionals the opportunity to improve their knowledge of fire door safety. Taking place at West Midland Fire Service’s headquarters in Birmingham on Thursday 28 September, the event will discuss common issues faced by professionals responsible for building design, construction and maintenance.

Representatives from West Midlands Fire Service and ASSA ABLOY UK will consider issues such as how fire doors may change in the future and the potential impact this will have on users.

The event is being run as part of Fire Door Safety Week, which takes place from Monday 25 September until Sunday 1 October.

The initiative is organised by the British Woodworking Federation to raise awareness about how third-party certified fire doors can prevent life-changing injuries.

David Hindle, Head of Door Closers at ASSA ABLOY UK, said:
“This is very timely following the sad events earlier in the year, and we are delighted to give our support to Fire Door Safety Week. This is a good time to try and improve knowledge within businesses and the public about the importance of fire doors and how they save lives.”

With registration beginning from 9:30am, the event is set to start at 9:45am and finish at 12:30pm, followed by lunch and a chance to meet with speakers and other attendees.

For more information and to register your attendance at the event, please visit marketing.assaabloy.co.uk/fdsw-event.




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Thursday, 21 September 2017

Shining a Spotlight on Fire Door Safety


Fire safety should be an important consideration when specifying for any construction project, be it a new build development or refurbishment job. However, in light of recent tragic events it’s clear that it’s not always at the top of the priority list when selecting fit-for-purpose products.

Here, Brett Evans, Technical Director for Door Hardware for Yale, discusses the importance of understanding fire safety regulations as well as why Yale has signed up to support Fire Door Safety Week this September.

Yale has pledged its support for the upcoming Fire Door Safety week, an initiative designed to raise awareness of the critical role of fire doors and aims to minimise casualties caused by fire. The campaign is engaging and educating people about importance of fire safety and correct specification. However, fire door safety should be a key industry issue all year round.

Brett Evans, Technical Director
for Door Hardware for Yale
Research has revealed that in 2015, fire accounted for 16% of domestic property damage*. What’s more, a large proportion of these could have been prevented as the Fire Door Inspection Scheme noted that 61% of doors had fire or smoke seals either missing, installed incorrectly or not filling perimeter gaps correctly**.

These shocking statistics highlight the importance of installing compliant products to ensure residents safety and satisfy your duty of care to customers.

Effective fire doors should ensure rooms are compartmented, to help keep fire and smoke in the area in which it starts, to protect residents and escape routes.

According to BS9999:2017, fire doors should be inspected every six months to ensure they are correctly maintained, with the Regulatory Reform Order: 2015 placing this obligation with the person responsible for the building.

Yale has a wide range of door hardware specifically designed to help building owners and contractors ensure they meet or exceed the required fire safety standards. For example, fire safety guidance states that you should not need to be searching for a key to exit a property during a fire, recommending thumbturn cylinders be installed for safer access.

The high security, Yale Platinum 3 Star cylinder is available with a thumbturn variant enhancing safety for users while also providing a trusted level of security that is synonymous with Yale.

The Yale portfolio also includes the Yale AutoSecure – a multi-point locking system that can assist with gaining fire safety accreditation.

The lock can be instrumental in achieving FD60 and when coupled with a thumb turn cylinder, such as the Platinum 3 Star, this makes for an easy action to open external doors from the inside without the need for keys. This gives peace of mind that residents can exit a building safely in the event of a fire.

For privately rented, council, social housing and commercial buildings, the Lockmaster panic door system from Yale offers the advantage of high performance security and compression, together with accredited emergency egress capability. To complete the doorset, the Yale Firemaster letterplate has been FD30 tested and is Certifire approved CF219.

Improved education is needed to raise awareness of the importance of fire door safety and the industry is now making steady inroads to improve specification for the future. That’s why Yale is joining the cause to help bring fire safety to the forefront for specifiers, building contractors and end-users.

Fire Door Safety Week, which runs week commencing 25th September, will draw attention to specific issues within the fire door industry, such as poor installation and maintenance, and will encourage building owners and specifiers to be more proactive when checking the operation and condition of their current fire doors.

To find out more about Yale’s full range of fire safety products, please visit www.yaledws.co.uk or alternatively call 01902 366800. For product information and updates, follow us on Twitter @YaleDWS.

*Fire Door Safety Week
**Fire Door Inspection Scheme




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Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Warning from dhf of Potential Legal Consequences following Manslaughter Case



dhf (Door & Hardware Federation) is stressing the possible legal consequences of failing to ensure the safety of gates following the conviction of a gate engineer for causing the death of Jill Lunn in April 2013. 

Last week, Robert Churchyard was found guilty of her manslaughter by gross negligence and warned that he faces jail. Mr Churchyard, 52, who was employed at the time by Automated Garage Doors and Gates Ltd, denied her manslaughter but was convicted by a jury at Norwich Crown Court after one hour and 15 minutes of deliberation.

The court heard that tragedy occurred when 56-year-old Ms Lunn had pulled into the drive, with her grandchild in the car, and tried to close the automated gate using the remote control. When it would not work she tried to shut the gate manually and it had fallen directly on top of her, crushing her to death. 

Described by the court as a ‘wholly preventable tragedy’, the gate, which weighed around a third of a tonne, was installed in March 2013, but without any stopping devices to prevent it falling if it was operated manually. Andrew Jackson, prosecuting, stated that Ms Lunn’s death could have easily been prevented by means of a simple stopping device either to the gate or to the track upon which the gate ran.

Churchyard was bailed until October 30 when he is due to be sentenced along with the company.

The guilty verdict comes just weeks before dhf initiative Gate Safety Week, which aims to educate and create awareness around the installation and maintenance of automated gates, drawing attention to specific issues such as poor installation and maintenance.

“dhf is committed to making tragic accidents like that of Jill Lunn, a thing of the past,” explains Marketing Manager, Patricia Sowsbery-Stevens. 
“Since 2013, we have worked tirelessly to educate and inform the industry of the latest requirements demanded of it and will continue to enforce best practice through our robust training and technical standards.
“We urge all companies involved in the installation or maintenance of automated gates, to contact us should they require guidance on their legal responsibilities.” 

Information can also be found on the dhf website: www.dhfonline.org.uk




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Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Allgood Gets To Grips With Ultrafabrics


Allgood recently launched an extensive choice of grip options for its Sembla range of lever and pull handles in partnership with Ultrafabrics. 

The high-performance fabric will introduce a wide variety of colours and textures into the ironmongery sector allowing a high level of customisation.

Adding to the inherent flexibility of the Sembla range, which consists of a central node, grip and tip that can be customised to suit individual design requirements, Ultrafabrics will provide almost limitless options with over 300 colours and textures to choose from offering a new level of flexibility. 

Options range from traditional black, brown and beige in synthetic leather to modern textures showcasing colours ranging from vibrant reds to cooler blues and green shades.

Widely used within the automotive and hospitality sectors, Ultrafabrics has been shown to provide ultimate performance in the most demanding of situations.

Franz Lorenschitz, Allgood Marketing Manager, said: 
“As the first ironmongery manufacturer to feature Ultrafabrics, we believe it has great potential, allowing architects and interior designs to mix and match colours and textures for a distinctive end result.”
Precision engineered from grade 316 stainless steel and manufactured in the UK by Allgood at its Birmingham factory, the Sembla range is ideal for the most demanding environments having been certified to BS EN 1906 grade 4 category of use.

For more information on Allgood plc, visit www.allgood.co.uk or follow @Allgood_plc on Twitter.




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