Navigating Fire Door Competence: Clearing the Confusion

In one of my recent conversations with a prominent training provider in the construction industry, the pressing need for clarity and consistency in fire door competency came to the forefront.

Questions regarding legislation, course content regulation, and certification standards highlighted the pervasive confusion that exists within the sector.

The discussion raised crucial inquiries that as of yet, remain largely unanswered: Who oversees course content? What ensures uniformity across training programs? Is there a clear distinction between the depth and scope of 1-day versus 3-day courses? And importantly, are there standardised levels associated with these courses?

Further concerns were voiced regarding the criteria used by third-party certification companies for installation, inspection, or remedial works. Is there a level playing field for minimum requirements and processes?

This confusion highlights the critical importance of competence in the realm of fire safety. As mandated by regulations (RRO Art 18), it’s imperative that individuals engaged in fire safety works demonstrate competence through a combination of knowledge, training, and experience.

To navigate this landscape effectively, certain guidelines are essential. For instance, when engaging a company for fire safety works, it’s prudent to request detailed training records of their employees, beyond mere association badges or scheme memberships. Background checks on individuals can provide further assurance that due diligence has been observed.

Fire door inspections and repair processes often prove challenging to manage and comprehend. Views and opinions can vary across the third-party schemes under which individuals or companies operate. To mitigate confusion, it’s crucial to establish clear parameters for inspections, aligning them with Fire Risk Assessments and regulatory requirements.

Regulation 10 outlines functionality reporting for fire door inspections, distinct from detailed stock condition surveys. A comprehensive maintenance system, as mandated by RRO Article 17, is indispensable. This system should meticulously record findings, actions taken, and the personnel involved, forming a detailed thread supporting building safety records.

In the digital age, leveraging systems like Door Data Systems can significantly enhance compliance and efficiency. These systems streamline maintenance records, facilitate access for relevant personnel, and ultimately contribute to improved client and resident relations.

The need for clarity, consistency, and diligence in fire door competence cannot be overstated. By adhering to established guidelines, leveraging digital solutions, and prioritising competence, the industry can navigate these complexities, ensuring enhanced safety and compliance standards.

For further support and guidance in fire door management, contact Jim Kerr, Managing Director of Door Data Systems, at Jim.kerr@doordatasystems.co.uk or 03301 330679.

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