Door Data Systems & George Boyd Lead Cultural Shifts in the Fire Door Industry

Door Data Systems has been working closely with George Boyd for the past three years, supplying their end users with the most simple to use yet comprehensive fire door management tool on the market.

George Boyd is a British specialist distributor of architectural ironmongery and commercial doorsets with a reputation built over 170 years for outstanding design, reliability and service. Endeavouring to be at the forefront of leading fire safety wherever they can, George Boyd are always looking for ways to make their products safer for their clients and ultimately the occupants of the buildings they’re installed in.

Terry Sebborn, General Manager, heads up the doorset team across the UK and as part of his role is responsible for finding new innovations and solutions to existing industry problems. Terry said “I’ve been with George Boyd for 6 years so have seen Grenfell happening and the resulting changes in the marketplace. I saw Door Data Systems in its infancy and I quickly came to the conclusion that this is the future – and it turns out that it is!”

Our System

Door Data Systems was developed prior to any regulatory requirement, with the aim of supporting cultural changes towards fire door safety across all trades. The system provides solutions for each party, from manufacturers through to maintenance, to evidence exacting standards. The system has been designed to support principal contractors, building owner and managers, as well as ensuring the correct information is shared and easily available door by door. All of this combines to result in reduced risk and supporting safer environments for building inhabitants and users.

Since the implementation of the Fire Safety [England] Regulations 2022 on 23rd January 2023, The has become a greater demand for organisations to demonstrate the Golden Thread of Evidence through a digital system, something that Door Data Systems was designed to do from the start. Terry adds “Door Data Systems are very ethical. There’s a lot of competition coming out now from different people trying to adapt their existing systems to accommodate door data, but this is the most comprehensive system and actually, the most price competitive as well as being the easiest to use, which in our opinion makes it the best system on the market.”

Supporting Development

Terry and his team at George Boyd have been working with Jim, helping to optimise and develop the system from an end client perspective. The combined goal was always to ensure that the system was built in the best possible format for everybody who will interact with it, and Terry tells us that is exactly what’s happened! “It’s a constantly evolving system and it’s adaptable to any IT system. It allows the end user to pick up the system without having a monthly cost attached to it – it’s all on a scan only basis. When we fit the data tag to the door, if the end user doesn’t want to use it, they don’t pay a penny. But the point is that the system is there to fulfil the Golden Thread of information.”

When we asked Terry whether system compatibility was a big problem for end users currently, he told us “We hear horror stories of Housing Association clients having to try to use 5 different IT systems, but what Door Data Systems have done really well is creating a system which adapts to existing IT systems – we haven’t found one system that Door Data Systems doesn’t work with. There are other brands on the marketplace but some of them are very over complicated to use. You want a system which is easy to use, user friendly and adaptable – which I think it is!”

Leading Cultural Change

What Door Data Systems and George Boyd have in common is a mutual goal to create cultural shifts in fire door safety. Whilst new legislation has been implemented, there is still a challenge present to ensure that the right people are educated about what is required for compliance and how that contributes to the overall end goal of enhanced safety for building inhabitants and users.

Terry tells us “Manufacturers can be very slow to change and adapt, but we’re facilitating the opportunity to give the client what they want and for the manufacturers to get to know it. It normally takes a year to 18 months for everyone in the marketplace to catch up after new laws come in. Officially they will be breaking the law but they don’t seem to worry about it – we do.”

But it’s not just some manufacturers who are behind the curve with fire safety developments, “There are still public sector clients asking what door data and the Golden Thread are. It’s an education into the public sector marketplace and manufacturers that’s going to take a while. We meet hundreds of fire safety officers and only 25% know what the new laws are about – even the new law that came in on 23rd January – they’re not up on the Golden Thread just yet which is quite scary!”

Once end users understand why they need the system, they love how simple it makes compliance for them. Terry said “We’ve got a few housing associations who are using the system and it’s really, really simple when you get your head around it. Once it’s set up, life’s easy. One of the things we really liked about it is the fact that it contains all of the certification, data sheets and ironmongery that it might need replacing in the future. It tells them exactly who supplied the door and what the ironmongery is – so they can see where to get the right replacement parts from in order to maintain their fire certification.”

Solving Industry Issues

Terry told us that one of the biggest issues the fire door industry has seen over the last 50 years is incorrect part replacement. “So many compliance checks are carried out and they replace with the wrong ironmongery and it immediately negates the certification.”

To the untrained eye, you would have no reason to believe that your fire doors are no longer fit for purpose after a sub-par repair until the event of a fire, in which case it may well be too late. Door Data Systems has been built in such a way that makes the whole life cycle of the door completely transparent.

Door Data Systems Managing Director Jim Kerr says “We’ve built the system to be fully comprehensive whilst incredibly easy to use at every touch point from manufacturer to maintenance contractor. If a repair needs to be carried out, clients simply scan their door with their mobile phone and can see exactly what parts they need or view the parts lists via the dashboard door by door. The system is designed to ensure that fire doors remain safe and can carry out their function properly throughout their entire life cycle.”

Working in Partnership

Terry concludes “We have a great relationship with Jim and will be demanding that all of our manufacturers install Door Data Systems pins to every single door that we sell. We’ve given hundreds of leads to Jim, not because it makes us any money, but because this product truly changes the industry for the better.”

At Door Data systems, we work with a wide variety of stakeholders, from fire door manufacturers, to installers, inspectors, facility managers and clients, demonstrating how we add value in real-world applications across the entire lifecycle of the door, contributing to the overall important goal of inhabitant safety.

If you’re wondering how to get up to speed with the recent legislative changes and the digitalisation of the Golden Thread, head to our webinar, in conjunction with Sentry Doors, here.

For more information about how you can join us at the forefront of fire door safety, get in touch.

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