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Building Products December 2017

INDUSTRY COMMENT DECEMBER 2017 | BUILDING PRODUCTS 11 even the smallest deviation from the specification can have catastrophic consequences. Fire doors must be installed to replicate their tested condition. Any changes will not only affect their fire performance, it will also nullify any third-party certification or CE mark. Know about the necessity of correctly functioning ironmongery A fire door is only as good as its ironmongery. It needs to have correctly specified, fitted and maintained essential (door closers, locks, hinges, smoke seals,) and non-essential ironmongery (handles and kickplates). Fire doors rely on the functionality and durability of the hardware that allows them to be operated on a daily basis, often over a period of many years, and are likely to be subject to accidental damage and abuse. Remember, fire doors also still have to serve the security, privacy, acoustic, thermal and sometimes aesthetic requirements of a building. Know the relevant standards There are a number of products that fall under the scope of harmonised standards. For door hardware some of the most critical of these standards include: • EN 1935 for single axis hinges • EN 1154 for controlled door closing devices • EN 12209 for mechanical and EN 14846 for electro-mechanical locking devices • EN 1125 for panic hardware • EN 179 for emergency escape hardware. Any product that is specified to be installed on a fire or escape door and that falls under the scope of these standards should be CE marked, and have the correct Declaration of Performance (DoP) documentation made available. Be aware of the risks in ‘value engineering’ It is often tempting for a specifier, when put under price pressure by a contractor, to make changes to a specification in order to secure an order. This is a process often known as ‘value engineering’ a specification. This practice is fraught with risks, particularly on essential items such as hinges and door closers. Be aware of Building Regulations and their guidance documents There are a number of guidance documents for Building Regulations that relate to fire safety throughout the UK and in the Republic of Ireland. Specifiers should familiarise themselves with the contents of these documents with particular reference to ironmongery and fire doors. Some of the appropriate documents include: • England and Wales: Approved Document B: Fire Safety • Northern Ireland Technical Booklet E: Fire Safety • Scotland: Technical Handbook Fire: Domestic and Non-domestic • Republic of Ireland Technical Guidance Document B: Fire Safety (new version published July 2017) Consider the Fire Door Inspection Scheme The Fire Door Inspection Scheme (FDIS) online learning module provides unique online learning leading to a Diploma in Fire Doors (DipFD) and a route to becoming a Certificated Fire Door Inspector (Cert FDI). FDIS offers education which is essential for anyone working with fire doors and escape doors, providing knowledge and understanding about the critical role of fire doors and how they can save lives and protect property. Consult industry publications Several publications that provide fire door hardware product, specification and installation advice are available for free download from reputable trade associations. Some that I would recommend for specifiers and contractors: • The ‘Code of Practice: Hardware for fire and escape doors’ published jointly by the Door Hardware Federation (DHF) and the GAI is referred to in the UK and Ireland Local Building Regulations and is available on www.firecode.org.uk. • The Barbour Technical Guide to Fire Precautions and Fire Protection is a useful download which covers legal requirements for responsible people under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRO). • The BWF-Certifire Best Practice Guide gives guidance for selecting, installing, using and maintaining fire doors. It also features a range of useful checklists. Remember the importance of maintenance Fire doors and ironmongery should be checked regularly and any maintenance carried out promptly and in line with the specification. The RRO states: “Where necessary in order to safeguard the safety of relevant persons the responsible person must ensure that the premises and any facilities, equipment and devices…are subject to a suitable system of maintenance and are maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair.” Remember that with fire and escape door hardware, the correct specification of product in the right application can mean the difference between life and death. www.gai.org.uk


Building Products December 2017
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