Enhancing Fire Safety: The Crucial Role of ‘Awareness’ in the Supply Chain

Awareness’ is the one word to describe the key factor to come out of the ‘Fire Safety Bill’.

At a recent event I attended, the panel was asked, “What is the single most significant benefit that the Building Safety Act has achieved so far?”  Whilst the were some specific answers around the role an individual may have, or a specific requirement or process being implemented, it was the word ‘AWARENESS’ that was decided upon.

There is no-doubt that ‘awareness’ is correct, but how much is the awareness filtering through organisations around fire doors.  When we talk about organisations, we are talking the entire supply chain, from manufacturers, installers and contractors through to inspectors, maintenance personnel to the facility managers and buildings owners.

I had a long think about ‘awareness’ when travelling home from the thought-provoking event and have discussed this with colleagues since.

I am fortunate to have truly forward-thinking organisations working with Door Data Systems and name some of the most professional and largest organisations within our client / customer portfolio. These organisations from the top are aware of their duties and have all embraced change, there are leaders and knowledge within these organisations, and I know speaking with them they all want to, and do, support their customers and teams where possible.  

Door installations from assemblies and kits to complete door-sets, are all potentially where things go wrong and there is no-doubt that some of the greatest ‘awareness’ improvements have been made through training and the continual uptake of 3rd party schemes. However it still sits with the Responsible Person(s) to be sure that those engaged are competent and RPs must be aware of hiding behind 3rd party schemes.  An RP cannot unload their responsibilities, (they can engage with other RPs) and the RP should be aware all 3rd party schemes place the responsibilities straight back to the RP. 

If we bring the ongoing management of fire doors in to one big section, the big ‘awareness’ is to understand the requirements for systems of maintenance, the requirements for maintaining doors. Look at the difference between inspecting doors with a professional under the RRO 2005 and the points made around Reg 10, Building Safety Act.

It is critical that requirements, articles and regulations are read together, not in isolation. Making the narrative fit your systems or knowledge is not good practice, making your systems and process fit the proper narrative is.

Finally, the data around fire doors belongs to the doors. Sell or transfer the building ownership and the doors history and records go with it. All the data added to a doors history from cradle to grave belongs to the door, not a contractor or individual who has completed the works, it is this approach that makes Door Data Systems partners different to other systems.

To find out more about Door Data Systems collates a true ‘golden thread’ of data for the as built environment and how all parties contribute to ensure the building owners can continue to manage their assets speak or email Jim Kerr, Managing Director of Door Data Systems Ltd.

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