In an unprecedented collaboration within the fire and security industry, three not-for-profit organisations with expertise in fire and security doorsets have combined their knowledge to offer guidance on a newly-published document on flat entrance doorsets.

The joint publication: ‘A Guide for Selecting Flat Entrance Doorsets; A publication for housing associations, landlords, building owners and local authorities in England’, relates to new doorsets and is the product of DHF (Door & Hardware Federation), Secured by Design (SBD) and the Fire Industry Association (FIA).

The publication brings together the best collaborative advice available from the industry in one straightforward document to highlight the fundamental issues of fire safety and security for those selecting fire doorsets.

The publication makes the point that there is no conflict between fire and security with Building Regulations ADB and ADQ carrying equal weight

Equal weightage for ADB and ADQ

Importantly, the publication makes the point that there is no conflict between fire and security with Building Regulations ADB (fire) and ADQ (security) carrying equal weight with neither taking precedence over the other. It explains why only factory produced doorsets can meet both ADB and ADQ.

Specifiers can have confidence in using the publication as an authoritative source of information as they are guided through the complexities of an extremely important area of Building Regulations to help them make informed choices.

The publication, which can be downloaded from any of the co-operating organisations’ websites, comes in the wake of the 2017 Grenfell Tower tragedy and in response to the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Governments’ (MHCLG) Implementation Plan – ‘Building a Safer Future’, released at the end of December 2018.

Enabling safer, easier escape

This new guidance document recommends that all fire doorsets are factory-prepared, and audited by a third-partyThis new guidance document, which launched in March of this year, recommends that all fire doorsets are factory-prepared (as opposed to prepared on-site), and furthermore, audited by a third-party. It is suggested these recommendations will offer greater assurance on door performance and protect occupants, control the spread of fire and enable safer, easier escape in the event of an incident.

We are delighted to have collaborated with SBD and FIA, in sharing our joint expertise on doorsets and fire safety,” explains DHF’s CEO, Bob Perry. “It seemed a natural partnership to come together and offer guidance on what to look for in a flat entrance doorset, how this relates to the latest advice supplied by Government (MHCLG) and why third-party certification of fire and security doorset manufacture, installation and maintenance is a critical part of the protection against fire ingress and unlawful entry.

Third party certification of manufacture, installation, maintenance and inspection of fire, smoke and security doors is something DHF has lobbied for tirelessly, as well as issues surrounding poorly or ill-fitting door closers,” he continues. “These form a vital part of fire safety.

Importance of third-party certification

It is worth noting that although this document is specific to England and Wales, it is also useful information for Northern Ireland and Scotland"FIA’s CEO, Ian Moore, says: “We are very pleased to work with DHF and Secured by Design in producing a guidance document to assist housing associations, landlords, building owners and local authorities on what to look for in a new flat entrance doorset and why third-party certification of fire doorset manufacture, installation and maintenance is a critical part of fire protection.

This underlines the Fire Industry Association’s objective to improve and perfect fire protection work and builds on MHCLG guidance within the Government’s building safety programme. It is worth noting that although this document is specific to England and Wales, it is also useful information for Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Establishing effective security standards

Chief Operating Officer of Secured by Design, Jon Cole, emphasised how important it is for the three organisations to work together to provide a holistic overview.

Third party certification, by suitably qualified bodies, has certainly delivered consistency and quality within the security sector"He says: “For many years, we have worked closely with national and local government, manufacturers, trade associations and standards authorities at home and abroad to establish effective security standards in the building and construction industry. We insist on United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) accredited independent, third-party certification to provide product control and to ensure that specification and quality is maintained over time.

Third party certification, by suitably qualified bodies, has certainly delivered consistency and quality within the security sector. This is why, we have campaigned for flat entrance doorsets to have dual certification, meeting all the relevant requirements for security and fire resistance in a single combined design specification. We believe that certification remains the best and only way to assure that effective quality products are delivered to market, providing additional assurance of performance.

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