Saturday, 8 March 2014

Builders’ merchants brush up on fire door knowledge

Builders’ merchants are stepping up their game by undertaking extensive fire door training to become BWF Approved Fire Door Centre’s (AFDCs).

BWF-CERTIFIRE has seen a rise in requests from builders’ merchants to become AFDCs to improve their knowledge and understanding of fire doors and offer their customers a better service.

Builders’ merchants account for 75% of fire doors sold in the UK and training is essential for sales staff to ensure they are qualified to help customers buying fire doors.

To become an AFDC all sales staff must undertake training, concluding with a test that requires a minimum 80% pass rate. Refresher training is carried out approximately every two years to ensure sales staff remain up-to-date.

Howarth Timber & Building Supplies became one of the initial AFDCs in order to improve their fire door sales service to customers.

Neale Brewster, Marketing and Product Development Manager at Howarth, said:
“With the constant changes in legislation and requirements coming through, we need to be in touch with relevant trade bodies and associated parties so we can relay this communication down to our staff and customers.

“Being an AFDC provides us with this and ensures our staff give customers the best practice information regarding installation and service use. It also provides us with an authoritative reference point if we don’t possess the knowledge to answer a particular question.”

John Fletcher, BWF-CERTIFIRE Scheme Manager, said:
“Last year the BWF-CERTIFIRE website received double the amount of visitors as more and more people want to improve their knowledge and understanding of fire doors.

“The merchant staff we’ve trained truly recognise the part they play in the fire door life cycle and want to provide the best advice to their customers. After all, fire doors save lives, and so it’s vital that merchant customers need to be informed with the best knowledge.”

Neale Brewster agrees with this sentiment and sees a positive outcome from a new AFDC recruitment drive via the Builders Merchants Federation.
“We see the benefits of working with like-minded companies by networking and communicating with them more effectively to provide our industry with a more focussed and reputable voice.

“Working closely with door, glass, hardware, frame and seal manufacturers will provide fit for purpose information to us, so we can pass this down to the customer.”

BWF-CERTIFIRE recently provided training at a workshop in conjunction with the Builders Merchants Federation at their HQ in Coventry and are planning to repeat the exercise later in the year. As a result, selected branches of builders merchants Buildbase have now taken the step to becoming an AFDC with branch training progressing through March.

Further information on BWF Approved Fire Door Centre’s can be found here:

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