Have your fire doorset specifications changed in line with legislation? For over a decade the Winkhaus UK technical team has been involved in the creation and implementation of the latest standards and guidance for fire doorsets. Following the launch of a training service, Mark Alton, Fire Door Product Manager at Winkhaus, shares how changes in legislation can impact the entire life cycle of a fire doorset, what a compliant fire doorset specification should contain and the importance of maintenance post-installation.
In October 2021, Winkhaus UK commissioned a survey that asked respondents to vote for which tests they think are required for a MHCLG (Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government) 2020 compliant fire doorset. Following the results of the survey, only 40% of respondents said fire doorsets should be smoke and fire tested, 20% said security tested and 20% said that fire doorsets should be third party accredited. The results from the survey provided an insight into the respondent’s knowledge about the new legislation and guidance and the conclusion highlights that in all likelihood, some specifications may not have changed in line with the correct guidance.
Over the last five years since the Grenfell disaster, there have been many changes in legislation and guidance, but important questions remain: “Do specifiers and those responsible for fire safety in social housing understand the changes and have they implemented these changes into their specifications?”
Changes in recent years highlight the requirements for compliance and how this should be delivered and maintained through the lifecycle of a fire doorset. The 2020 MHCLG guideline identified the three critical performances for a fire doorset as Fire, Smoke and Security. The MHCLG guideline, along with the independent review of Building Regulations and fire safety, also clearly states that these critical performances should be third party audited and certified.
Importance of Third Party Auditing
UKAS accredited third party auditing is not just required to verify test data for fire doors, it is a critical requirement throughout the “Golden Thread” or lifecycle of a fire doorset. There are five key stages within the Golden Thread: Design and Test, Specify, Manufacture, Survey and Installation and Maintenance.
Design and test is the first stage of the Golden Thread and this is where the doorset is tested with an independent UKAS accredited test house or laboratory for fire resistance, smoke control and to PAS24 for enhanced security, both inside and outside. All the test reports are compiled and become a FoAP (Field of Application) that shows all the variations and permitted parameters.
A specification is then written which outlines the requirement of skills and other specifics required for each doorset. The specification stage must follow the Golden Thread and ensures every stage is third party audited to ensure test evidence is current and correct. The key purpose of the specification is to ensure the fire door set is consistent and compliant through manufacture, installation and maintenance.
Next in the Golden Thread is manufacture; this stage is third party audited to ensure the fire doorset is consistently manufactured to the same standards as the test evidence and specification. Survey and installation is then conducted by a third party accredited installer with an additional system training to ensure consistency and clear understanding of the tested solutions specified.
This then leads to Maintenance, which is the final stage of the Golden Thread. It is mandatory that annual audits are carried out and undertaken by a third party audited and accredited company to ensure compliance throughout the life of the doorset. Any remedial work identifiedthrough annual or routine inspectionshould be related back to the originaltest evidence, so again we recommendtraining is provided throughout the golden thread.
All of the stages within the Golden Thread refer back to the original design testing ensuring the correct components are being used to make or maintain a door. The landlord or responsible person needs to ensure that the fire doorset is maintained to the test data. The test data cannot be changed and any changes to the fire doorset that aren’t specified in the test data will result in a non-compliant fire doorset. For example, if the letterbox was damaged and maintenance work is required, the same letterbox would need to be installed as the test data to ensure the door performs to the same standards as when it was originally tested to ensure the warranty is also maintained.
Free Fire training service by Winkhaus
Winkhaus FireFrame composite fire doorset solutions are the first to attain the new Q Mark third party audit certification for Smoke and we are the first company to attain individual Q Mark certification for all three critical performance requirements: Fire, Smoke and Security.
To further aid the understanding of the new requirements for a compliant fire doorset specification, we have recently expanded our free training service. We offer three different levels of training, which can be tailored to the audience to ensure it meets your requirements and we will even write your fire door set specification:
- Option One — This training provides an overview of the Golden Thread for fire doorsets, covering the requirements for a compliant doorset throughout its lifecycle.
- Option Two — This training covers the fire doorset legislation, which is the next level of data for those who need a more detailed understanding of the changes that have been made to legislation for fire doorset standards over the past few years.
- Option Three — If you require a deeper understanding on legislation and guidance, need support in writing your specification or require further advice on compliance, we can arrange for a Q&A session with a member of our expert fire doorset team.
Both option one and option two can be presented as a formal CPD or informally without CPD certification.
For more information about Winkhaus’ Fire, Smoke and Security doorset solutions, support with fire door specifications or to register for the company’s free training, please visit: firetraining.winkhaus.com