Understanding Fire Door Compliance: A Closer Look at New Door Installations

With many Housing providers getting embroiled with the legislation and guidance around fire doors, Door Data Systems MD James Campbell-Kerr unravels some of the misconceptions and key points to be aware of when procuring and receiving handover of projects.

“Under Reg 38 it is crucial that detailed and full supporting evidence is provided for each, and every door supplied. A manufacturer that provides a ‘Declaration of Performance’ in place of fire certification holding back on providing the ‘Field of Application’, ‘Global Assessment’ or ‘Primary Test Evidence’ is restricting those who hold a position of ‘Duty’, ‘Responsibility’ or ‘Accountability’ from doing their jobs.

“It is the Responsible Persons’ duty to engage with competent persons (article 18 Regulatory Reform Order 2005) who are completing tasks being undertaken directly or who are assisting with the appointing of personnel to undertake tasks.

“Many schemes of refurbishment are undertaken by Principal Contractors, who in turn sub-contract the works to a specialist contractor (competent person). If the Principal Contractor cannot demonstrate competence and evidence such for the specialist tasks being undertaken, they will need to provide evidence to the RP that the appointed persons who will be contracted does.

“Being under a 3rd party scheme to carry out works does not automatically evidence competence and anyone who thinks it does is being misled. We see too many times a branded name of a scheme being used, but the detail is in the scheme details.

“Anyone managing work should read and fully understand the scheme details that the contractor is under and get clarity if things are not clear, directly from the scheme provider and not the contractor brandishing the logo.

“A recent site visit has uncovered that the contractor under a 3rd party scheme, had operatives on-site with no formal fire door installation training. These operatives were listed as being supervised by one individual who could have up to 20 operatives working under them. The site supervisor was not on site and the operatives informed us that they had training in the morning before work started. The training was no more than a toolbox talk and formed part of the pre-start induction.  Clearly this is not sufficient.               

“Now the specification of material has been approved, the supporting evidence has been submitted for the design, labour has been appointed and skilled and competent personnel appointed – all this data should form part of the construction / project file. The task of fully recording the works being undertaken is also required to be evidenced to support on-going maintenance and fire safety compliance within the building.

“The record of materials used and works undertaken must be so that it is evidential, this is the ‘Golden Thread’ data.

“The principals of Golden Thread have always been and remains that the data recorded will play a major part in the managing of fire safety in buildings and that the information should be easily available to those who need it when they need it.

“This availability of information is why the call of data to be digitally held. However, there is little point of digital records if the information is not easily accessible or being held to ransom.

“It is an unfortunate fact that some so-called golden thread platforms are little more than lead generation platforms, in-house platforms to support opportunity for further sales or sales opportunity for associated businesses.

“Door Data Systems Ltd offers independent support through cloud-based databases, empowering stakeholders with easy access to essential data for ongoing maintenance and inspections. By placing controls in the hands of door owners and management professionals, Door Data Systems enhances efficiency, reduces costs, and ultimately prioritises safety in fire door compliance endeavours.”

For more information about Door Data Systems contact Jim on 03301 330 679 or enquiries@doordatasystems.co.uk.

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